1968, the first issue of Panga Nyeusi, Northeastern's African
American newsletter, was published. Published erratically, the newsletter
provided students with international, national, and campus news. Although
Panga Nyeusi, meaning black sword, was the first publication
of its kind at Northeastern, the newsletter did not elicit a significant
reaction until it became entangled in a conflict between the African-American
Institute's student run Steering Committee and its directorial staff.
In the winter of 1971, intense
meetings between the directorial staff and the student Steering Committee
of the African-American Institute focused on the direction and agenda
of the institute. During this controversy, Panga Nyeusi, which
had been created by students from the African-American Institute, decided
to play more of an advocacy role than a strictly objective role reporting
the news. Although the newsletter staff did not care for the position
of the students on the Steering Committee, Panga Nyeusi cared
even less for the stance of the African-American Institute's staff.
In their editorials, Panga Nyeusi writers informed the African-American
Institute's staff that their purpose was to serve the African American
student body. In addition, Panga Nyeusi staff accused the Steering
Committee of being opportunistic. The November 1, 1971 edition of the
newsletter accused the institute’s staff of taking an electric
typewriter and cameras belonging to Panga Nyeusi.
Because of Panga Nyeusi’s
position in this conflict, several students and the Institute's staff
drove the newsletter out of the African-American Institute. A few students
attempted to continue the newsletter, but without the institute’s
resources, maintaining Panga Nyeusi was difficult. While Panga
Nyeusi staff realized the need to give voice to Northeastern's
African American students, the last issue of the newsletter was printed
in January 1972.