Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Creation of the Black Studies Program

During the spring of 1968, students protested dormitory conditions and regulations. The unrest reached its height in May when students occupied Grossley Hall, prompting the governor to dispatch the National Guard.

Black Majestic Society editorial, The Hornet, October 10, 1969
Among the most organized of the activists was the Black Majestic Society, who demanded the creation of a Black Studies Program. Their October 10, 1969, editorial in The Hornet, pictured here, represents their displeasure with the college, to put it mildly. 

By the 1970-1971 academic year, the Black Studies Program was approved as a multidisciplinary concentration that called upon a variety of fields in the humanities. You can read the Black Studies Planning Committee proposal here, as part of our digitized collection.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Farewell from Leigh-Anne

My time here at DSU is done, and I am very sad to see it end. The work I was able to do was meaningful and exciting. I had access to items of historical significance that many people do not know existed, such as the course catalogs from 1899-1911 when the University was still called the State College for Colored Students. A lot of the material I processed showed the development of the University, as well as the changes in the departments and course offerings. I have to say one of my favorites was when I helped a researcher find material about student activities and influence that led to the addition of the Black Studies Program.

My confidence increased with the practice provided in the archives, which was the purpose of this post-graduate internship for me. Much of what I learned in school was under the direction of a teacher. However, nothing beats working in the field to learn how an activity can be the same but bring up a different set of questions each day. I was able to clarify my career goals. I not only learned that I can process archival records as quickly as I can catalog books (I interned in a corporate library and spent time in a public library while a MSLS student), I also learned that I enjoy spending time interacting with researchers and people from other University departments who want to learn more about what we have and do at the University Archives.

I wish the University were closer to my home. The two hour drive so early in the morning was very hard, but I never had a day where I woke up and wished I did not have to come in to work. The traffic was always minimal (it was, after all, the summer), the weather was just right, there appears to be no bad parking on campus, and the people are all really nice.

Speaking of the people, the employees at DSU are fantastic! They always had a smile for me. It felt good to be asked how I was doing, and to know the person asking really wanted to know. It did not take long before I was being included in conversations in the staff lunchroom and elsewhere in the library. It is my strongest hope that the people here in the William C. Jason Library remember me like I will them.

I am grateful for the opportunity to work at DSU, and be a part of building the University Archives. I look forward to watching the digital collection grow, and reading future blog posts to learn who else has come on board and where I might be able to meet up with them to compare notes about the collection material.