Guide to the Black History at Duke Reference Collection, 1948 - 2001 and undated
The Black History at Duke Reference Collection chronicles the integration of Duke University. This history includes the Silent Vigil; the Allen Building Takeover; the creation of a Black Student Alliance; the development of a Black Studies Program; interactions between the university and the Durham community; as well as individual efforts from students, faculty, and administrators. The collection contains publications, fliers, reports, memos, handbooks, manuals, lists, clippings, and a bibliography. Major subjects include black students, civil rights demonstrations, and the effects of desegregation on administrative policies. English.
- Record Group
- Black History at Duke Reference collection
- 1948 - 2001 and undated
- Duke University. University Archives
- 2.7 Linear Feet, 750 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
The collection contains publications, fliers, reports, memos, handbooks, manuals, lists, clippings, and a bibliography. The collection is divided into six series: The End of Segregation, Black Faculty, Black Studies Program, Student Groups, Public Forums, and Clippings.
The first series, The End of Segregation, includes a bibliography, background materials about desegregation efforts, statistics, reports, and memos. The second series, Black Faculty, includes clippings, and a list of black professors, assistant professors, lecturers, non-tenure track instructors, graduate teaching and research assistants. The appendix to the list includes the Medical School and School of Nursing faculty.
In 1968, there were discussions on campus about establishing a black studies or Afro-American studies program, but no action was taken by the university. One of the demands of the students who took over the Allen Building on Feb. 13, 1969, was for the establishment of a fully accredited department of Afro-American Studies. On May 2, 1969, the Black Studies Committee submitted a proposal to the Undergraduate Faculty Council of the Arts and Sciences for the creation of the Black Studies Program and the courses were approved by the curriculum committee. Walter Burford was named program head in 1970. The third series, Black Studies Program, chronicles some of the history of this program and includes drafts of proposals, enrollment statistics, flyers, photocopies of clippings, and other materials.
The fourth series, Student Groups, contains materials from a variety of groups. Included are: the Afro-American Society, the Association of African Students, the Black Student Alliance, the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association, Black Fraternities and Sororities, and others. The fifth series, Public Forums, includes materials on a number of speakers, rallies, demonstrations, boycotts; one newspaper advertisement; and one Internet site. The sixth series, Clippings, contains mostly photocopies of newspaper articles. The clippings are from 1967-2001 and undated, and cover a wide variety of topics. Of note is a series of articles that appeared in the Chronicle, Black and Blue: Blacks at Duke, Feb. 13-Feb.17, 1984.
Access to the Collection
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
Use & Permissions
Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Black History at Duke Reference Collection, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Includes a bibliography, background materials about desegregation efforts, statistics, reports, and memos.
Includes publications, reports, memos, handbooks, and manuals.
Report prepared for the Duke YM-YWCA. The report focuses on aspects of the University which directly affect students academically. Part I deals with enrollment, admissions and financial aid. Part II represents the results of a survey of selected faculty who were questioned about the curriculum.
Includes memo from R. Taylor Cole about non-discriminatory policies (Sept. 9, 1965); draft on the history of Afro-American relations issued by the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Duke (March 7, 1969); and a list of African American student demands presented to Terry Sanford (Sept. 24, 1975).
In 1968, there were discussions on campus about establishing a black studies or Afro-American studies program, but no action was taken by the university. One of the demands of the students who took over the Allen Building on Feb. 13, 1969, was for the establishment of a fully accredited department of Afro-American Studies. On May 2, 1969, the Black Studies Committee submitted a proposal to the Undergraduate Faculty Council of the Arts and Sciences for the creation of the Black Studies Program and the the courses where approved by the curriculum committee. Walter Burford was named program head in 1970.
Includes drafts of proposals, enrollment statistics, fliers, photocopies of clippings, and other materials.
Harambee was a publication of the Afro-American Society that includes articles and poems by African American students.
Weusi za Weusi was a literary magazine published by the Afro-American Society of Duke University in 1970. The expressed purpose of the magazine was to represent the policies and arts of our people.
Devilnet, an Internet site run by Duke students, aired student opinions on a wide variety of subjects. On Thanksgiving Day, 1998, someone posted a list of the Top 20 Brown-Skinned Fresh and the posting launched a torrent of follow-up lists and sexually explicit comments.
The Black Solidarity Committee for Community Improvement, a coalition of Durham citizens, called for a Selective Buying Campaign to force the city to make changes in the areas of black representation, employment, private housing, welfare, and public education. Specific stores were targeted for boycott and the days to boycott these stores were called Black Days.
Includes a series of articles that appeared in the Chronicle.
The history of integration at Duke University spans more than one hundred years. In 1896, Trinity College was the first white institution in the South to invite Booker T. Washington to speak on campus. In 1948, students of the Divinity School petitioned for the admission of African Americans to the university. It was only within the last forty years that university policies changed so that black people could become a part of the life of Duke University as students, faculty, and administrators. The Black History at Duke Reference Collection chronicles the events that were part of this change. The following timeline, partially adapted from the book Legacy, 1963-1993: Thirty Years of African-American Students at Duke University, gives a historical overview of some of the events that are documented in this collection.
|March 8, 1961||
The Board of Trustees announced that students would be admitted to the university graduate and professional schools without regard to race, creed, or national origin.
|June 2, 1962||
The Board of Trustees announced that undergraduate students would be admitted without regard to race.
Five black undergraduates entered Duke University as first year students.
Dr. Samuel DuBois Cook became Duke University's first black faculty member.
Three African Americans received their undergraduate degrees, as the first black students to graduate from Duke.
The Afro-American Society was established as the first black student association. Later, the name of the organization was to change first to Association of African Students and then, in 1976, to Black Student Alliance.
|April 5-11, 1968||
One day after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., hundreds of Duke students gathered in the quad, in a silent vigil, to protest Duke's discriminatory policies .
Black students presented the administration with twelve points of concern that included enrollment levels, the low number of black faculty members, and the continuing membership of key university officials in segregated facilities.
|Feb. 13, 1969||
Sixty members of the Afro-American Society occupied the Allen Building for eight hours and presented the university administration with a list of demands.
A Black Studies Program was instituted at Duke after much discussion and delay. Walter Burford was named program head in 1970.
The Office of Black Affairs was established. Later, its name was changed to Office of Minority Affairs, and, in 1993, to Office of Intercultural Affairs.
The university's first predominantly black fraternity, the Omega Zeta chapter of Omega Psi Phi, was founded.
|Sept. 24, 1975||
One hundred students protested and presented the administration with grievances and demands for action. Their priorities included departmentalization of the Black Studies Program and increasing the number of black faculty teaching black studies courses.
The Association of African Students was renamed the Black Student Alliance.
|Nov. 7, 1979||
The Black Student Alliance sponsored a Black Solidarity Day rally on campus.
The Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture was established.
|April 21, 1988||
The Academic Council passed a resolution to adopt the Black Faculty Initiative, to mandate the hiring of more black faculty in each dept.
|April 21, 1989||
Students marched from East to West Campus in support of National Black Student Action Day.
|Sept. 26, 1997||
Class boycott and Allen Building study-in held to observe Race Day.
|March 19, 2001||
An advertisement entitled Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Slavery is a Bad Idea - And Racist Too by David Horowitz ran in the Chronicle. Students protested the printing of the advertisement in the student newspaper.
For a list of pertinent honors papers, see Folder 1, “Bibliography,” in the Black History at Duke Reference Collection.
- African Studies Committee Records. (University Archives, Duke University.)
- Allen Building Takeover Collection. (University Archives, Duke University.)
- Black Graduate and Professional Student Association Records. (University Archives, Duke University.)
- Black on White Steering Committee Records. (University Archives, Duke University.)
- Black Student Alliance Records. (University Archives, Duke University.)
- Bryan K. Fair Papers. (University Archives, Duke University.)
- Duke Vigil Collection. (University Archives, Duke University.)
- Malcolm X University Records. (University Archives, Duke University.)
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Duke University -- Administration
- Duke University. University Archives
- Duke University -- History
- Duke University. University Archives
- Duke University -- Students -- Political activity
- Duke University -- Students -- Social conditions
- Duke University. Afro-American Society
- African American student movements
- African Americans -- North Carolina -- Durham -- Political activity
- African Americans -- North Carolina -- History -- 1964-
- African Americans -- Civil rights -- Southern States
- African American students -- North Carolina -- Durham
- College students, Black -- North Carolina
- Civil rights demonstrations
- Race relations
- Students, Black -- North Carolina
- Students -- Political activity
- Student participation in administration
The Black History at Duke Reference Collection was created by Duke University Archives staff.
Processed by Linda Daniel
Completed April 2004
Encoded by Linda Daniel, April 2004
Updated by Molly Bragg, August 2011