Roberts Center (1958-1988)

"an equal chance for every man. Black and white, we shall overcome"

  • 7 April 1967BC students may yet become conditioned to having concerts cancelled after being assured that all the contracts had been duly signed. This familiar sequence was reenacted last week when the much publicized James Brown concert fell through. Sal DiMasi, representative for the Campus Council, had signed a contract for the show with Dan Abrams, an agent. It was assumed that Abrams could commit Brown to the performance. Apparently, Abrams was not authorized to sign a contract binding Brown. Abrams notified DiMasi last Thursday that Brown would not perform in Boston, although no reasons were given for Brown's decision. The Campus Council immediately announced that all ticket money would be refunded. Over 500 tickets had been sold on campus. Tickets were also being sold by various other schools and agents in the Boston area, and all these sources were ordered to redeem the tickets. ("Failure of Brown concert blamed on faulty contract," The Heights)
  • 6 May 1967 – Ray Charles in Concert at BC (The Heights advertisement)
  • 7 October 1966 – The concert on Friday night [14 October 1966] will begin at 8 PM and will feature rock stars Chuck Berry and Martha and the Vandellas. The caverns of Roberts Center will rock with such old Chuck Berry hits as "Nadine," "Johnny B. Good" and "No Particular Place to Go.' Past top hits of Martha and the Vandellas are "Heat Wave" and "Dancin' in the Streets." ("Roberts Center Will Rock Under Chuck Berry Beat," The Heights)
  • 13 October 1967 – The Social Commission, according to Chairman Don Bouchoux, settled for [Otis] Redding only after initial efforts failed to sign either the Righteous Brothers or the Woody Allen Show with Judy Collins. […] The first big concert of the newly-created social commission was not without criticism. Many students feared that there would be no Homecoming Concert because the social commission waited too long to book an act. […] Another criticism leveled at the commission was that there was not enough variety in BC concerts, that too many "soul" acts had already been booked last year. Among the groups performing at BC last year were Martha and the Vandellas, Ray Charles, and the Isley Brothers. Chuck Berry and James Brown had also been tentatively scheduled but did not actually appear. (Homecoming concert features Otis Redding," The Heights)
  • 3 December 1969 - The Black Forum hosts a conference for national black leaders at BC’s Roberts Center. The conference was introduced by Carl X. Lewis, Black Forum president, who began the night with an attack on Boston College and the Cultural Committee for what he termed "dishonesty." According to Lewis, "my presence here shows the willingness of those who put this program together to lie. It is not true that BC is without bigotry." Lewis felt that he was being presented to the outside as proof of BC's practice of equality, and he could not go along with the role. "My presence here does not mean anything," he asserted. Roy Wilkins (head of the NAACP), Roy Innis (leader of CORE), Masai Hewitt (Minister of Education for the Black Panther Party), Ralph Abernathy (Director for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference [SCLC]) were in attendance, national leaders of black movements who admitted last night that although they disagreed about strategy, their goal was the same: according to Abernathy, “We up here may differ on tactics and strategy, but our goal is the same: an equal chance for every man. Black and white, we shall overcome." (Joe McDonough, “Black leaders admit differences, but claim unity of purpose,” The Heights)
    • 17 February 1974 - Winter Weekend Presents Chuck Berry in Concert (Advertisement, The Heights).