Department of African and African American Studies records, 1966-1981
Navigate the Collection
- Duke University. Department of African and African American Studies
- The Dept. of African and African American Studies collection contains the office files of department directors Walter Burford and William Turner. Materials and topics in the collection include course materials for courses taught under the aegis of Black Studies' instructors; the large efforts channeled into recruitment of full-time faculty for the program; committee work related to Black Studies proposals and to the program's departmental status; budgets; and printed matter relating to similar programs and problems at other schools. The materials date from 1966-1981.
- 3 Linear Feet
- Material in English
- Collection ID:
- University Archives Record Group:
- 25 -- Trinity College of Arts and Sciences
25 -- Trinity College of Arts and Sciences > 06 -- African and African American Studies
- Scope and content:
Collection contains the office files of the Director of African and African American Studies. Materials and topics in the collection include course materials for courses taught under the aegis of Black Studies' instructors; the large efforts channeled into recruitment of full-time faculty for the program; committee work related to Black Studies proposals and to the program's departmental status; budgets; information concerning similar programs and problems at other schools; and printed material received by the office which gives something of the flavor of minority affairs and resources around the country. Two 7-inch magnetic tape reels are also present documenting the 1972 Black Religion Symposium. The materials date from 1966-1981.
- Biographical / historical:
The initiative for the establishment of the Department of African and African American Studies began in October of 1968 when at an ad hoc meeting called by Dean William Griffith (at the request of the President of the University) Duke's Afro-American Society presented 12 demands. One of these demands called for the establishment of a Black Studies Program consisting of courses on Afro-American History, socio-economics, community development, black arts, black people in American politics, Afro-American literature, etc. Although there appeared to be general receptiveness to the proposition of a Black Studies Program, concern was expressed by some administrators present that "'funding and the ability to secure competent teachers' might present an obstacle to formation of the program." After a few meetings the momentum for the creation of Black Studies Program staled.
On February 13, 1969 sixty members of the Afro-American Society occupied the Allen Building (the main administrative building on campus) for eight hours and presented the university administration with a list of thirteen demands. The demands once again included the "establishment of a fully-accredited department of Afro-American Studies."
In response to the Allen Building Takeover the administration met with the Afro- American Society and accepted 12 of their 13 points. Following this acceptance the Supervisory Committee on Black Studies chaired by Louis Budd of the English Department was formed. The composition of the committee was contested by the students who demanded equal representation among the faculty and students. The final composition of the committee, however, was 5 faculty members and 3 students.
In May 1969, the Black Studies Committee submitted and received approval for the Black Studies Program from the Undergraduate Faculty Council of the Arts and Sciences (UFCAS). Walter Burford was named program head in 1970. Since its creation the program and eventually department has undergone various name changes. Some previous names include Black Studies Program, Afro-American Studies, African and Afro-American Studies, and its most recent (2007) incarnation African and African American Studies.
For a more in depth history of the department until 1984 please consult Report of Ad Hoc Committee on African and Afro-American Studies located in the Black History at Duke Reference Collection.
- Acquisition information:
- The Department of African and African American Studies records were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1976, 1983, 1986.
- Processing information:
Processed by Sherrie Bowser, September 2007
Encoded by Sherrie Bowser, September 2007
Encoded for digitization project by Jessica Carew, December 2011
Accessions 76-141, A83-94, A86-64 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.
- Physical location:
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
- Rules or conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
- Students, Black -- North Carolina
Student participation in administration
Blacks -- Historiography
College students, Black -- North Carolina
African Americans -- Historiography
Blacks -- Study and teaching
African American students -- North Carolina -- Durham
African Americans -- Study and teaching
- Sound recordings
Clippings (information artifacts)
- Duke University -- Administration
Duke University -- Students -- Political activity
Duke University -- History
Duke University. Afro-American Society
Duke University. Office of Black Studies
Using These Materials
- Using These Materials Links:
Using These Materials
Collection is open for research.
- Terms of access:
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. Digitized documents are made available by Duke University Libraries for the purpose of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, such as commercial uses, researchers must contact the Rubenstein Library to request permission.
Digitized materials from this collection are made available for use in research, teaching and private study. The digital reproductions have been made available through an evaluation of public domain status, permissions from the rights' holders, and authorization under the law including fair use as codified in 17 U.S.C. ยง 107. Although these materials are publicly accessible for these limited purposes, they may not all be in the public domain. Users are responsible for determining if permission for re-use is necessary and for obtaining such permission. Individuals who have concerns about online access to specific content should contact the Rubenstein Library.
- Before you visit:
- Please consult our up-to-date information for visitors page, as our services and guidelines periodically change.
- Preferred citation:
[Identification of item], Department of African and African American Studies Records, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.