Collection Number: 40400

Collection Title: Black Student Movement of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1970s-2012

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size 1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 850 items)
Abstract The Black Student Movement (BSM) formed in November 1967 in response to the slow pace of African American enrollment at the university and the dissatisfaction of black students with the campus chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). One of the organization's main goals was to become the voice for African American students at the university. In December 1968, it presented to Chancellor J. Carlyle Sitterson a list of demands, including increased admissions of black students, the creation of a department of African and Afro-American studies, and better treatment of non-academic employees. In 1997, on the thirtieth anniversary of its founding, the Black Student Movement presented Chancellor Michael Hooker with a list of demands, including a declaration by the chancellor of his support for a freestanding black cultural center. The BSM also organized many events and activities for African American students at the university and fostered subgroups engaged in dance, theater, gospel singing, and other cultural programs. As of 2013, it remained one of the largest student organizations on campus. Records consist mostly of photographs and slides, 1970s-early 2000s, of African American students, many of whom are engaged in activities and events sponsored or hosted by the Black Student Movement or in other campus events. Well-documented events include the BSM's Coronation Gala; the Umoja Awards; Homecoming; and athletic events, particularly football and basketball games played during the 1970s and 1980s. There are also photographs of special events, such as visiting speakers and protests, including images depicting the 1997 presentation of demands to Chancellor Michael Hooker. Also included are Coronation Gala programs and membership handbooks, 2008-2012; two scrapbooks composed mostly of newspaper clippings, 1996-2009; and three display boards, 2003-2012, illustrating BSM history and activities.
Creator University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Black Student Movement.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Black Student Movement of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records #40400, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Transferred from the Black Student Movement in May and September 2012 (Record transfers 20120507.2 and 20120924.1).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Historical Information

The Black Student Movement (BSM) formed in November 1967 in response to the slow pace of African American enrollment at the university and the dissatisfaction of black students with the campus chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Preston Dobbins (Class of 1969) served as the first president of the group, which was officially recognized by the university as a student organization in December 1967. One of the BSM's main goals was to become the voice for African American students at the university. On 11 December 1968, it presented to Chancellor J. Carlyle Sitterson a list of 23 demands, including increased admissions of black students, the creation of a department of African and Afro-American studies, and better treatment of non-academic employees. The BSM soon formed an alliance with the campus food service workers, who went on strike on 23 February 1969. Members of the BSM supported the strikers by organizing a boycott and picketing. Dining services were immobilized for a month, after which most of the workers' demands were met.

On 14 November 1997, to mark the thirtieth anniversary of its founding, Black Student Movement members presented Chancellor Michael Hooker with a list of 22 demands, including a declaration by the chancellor of his support for a freestanding black cultural center. At the same time, they rallied in support of campus housekeepers and groundskeepers. A freestanding center had been endorsed earlier by Chancellor Paul Hardin, but planning and fund raising had proceeded very slowly. The BSM continued to press the administration on this issue. In 2004, the Sonja Haynes Stone Black Cultural Center (now Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History), which had been housed in the Student Union, moved into a new building devoted solely to its programs.

The BSM also organized many events and activities for African American students at the university and fostered subgroups engaged in dance, theater, gospel singing, and other cultural programs. These include the BSM Gospel Choir, the Opeyo! Dancers, the Ebony Readers/Onyx Theater spoken-word poetry group, the Black Ink newspaper, and the Harmonyx a capella group. As of 2013, the BSM remained one of the largest student organizations on campus with as many as 400 members per year.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Records consist mostly of photographs and slides, 1970s-early 2000s, of African American students, many of whom are engaged in activities and events sponsored or hosted by the Black Student Movement or in other campus events. Events especially well documented include the BSM's Coronation Gala; the Umoja Awards; Homecoming; and athletic events, particularly football and basketball games played during the 1970s and 1980s. There are also photographs of special events such as visiting speakers and protests, including images depicting the 1997 presentation of demands to Chancellor Michael Hooker. Also included are Coronation Gala programs and membership handbooks, 2008-2012; two scrapbooks composed mostly of newspaper clippings, 1996-2009; and three display boards, 2003-2012, illustrating BSM history and activities.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Photographs and Slides, 1970s-2003.

About 800 items.

Arrangement: Chronological.

Photographs and slides, 1970s-early 2000s, of African American students, many of whom are engaged in activities and events sponsored or hosted by the Black Student Movement or in other campus events. Events include the BSM's Coronation Gala; the Umoja Awards; Homecoming; Martin Luther King Jr. Week; performances; and athletic events, particularly football and basketball games played during the 1970s and 1980s. Groups depicted include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the BSM Gospel Choir, Harmonyx, the Lampados of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Opeyo! Dance Company, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. There are also photographs of visiting speakers, including Martin Luther King Sr., James Baldwin, Vernon Jordan, C.P. Ellis, Alice Walker, Dan Blue, Julian Bond, Benjamin Chavis, Kathleen Neal Cleaver, Johnnie Cochran, and Maynard Jackson. There are also scattered images of Chancellors Christopher Fordham, Paul Hardin, and Michael Hooker and images of several protests and rallies, including the 1997 presentation of 22 demands to Chancellor Michael Hooker and the demonstration of support for campus housekeepers and groundskeepers. There are also two images of the controversial sculpture "The Student Body" by Julia Balk, one showing the vandalized basketball player figure.

Many of these photographs are undated, and many of the dates given below are approximate. Many of the people and events depicted are unidentified. Most photographs appear to have been taken by BSM members or other UNC-Chapel Hill students, but some were probably obtained from other sources. Numerous photographs appear to have been used in Black Ink or other publications.

Box 1

Black Student Movement photographs, 1970s #40400, Series: "Photographs and Slides, 1970s-2003." Box 1

Includes numerous images of basketball games and players. Also includes images of Julian Bond, Maynard Jackson, Vernon Jordan, and Martin Luther King Sr. Bond, Jordan, and King are speaking in what appears to be Memorial Hall. Jordan gave the inaugural Martin Luther King Jr. address in 1978; King Sr. gave it in 1979. The photograph of Bond is dated fall 1974.

Black Student Movement photographs, 1980s #40400, Series: "Photographs and Slides, 1970s-2003." Box 1

Includes numerous images of football and basketball games and players. Also includes images of James Baldwin, C.P. Ellis, Dan Blue, and Benjamin Chavis.

Black Student Movement photographs, early 1990s #40400, Series: "Photographs and Slides, 1970s-2003." Box 1

Includes two images of "The Student Body" sculpture by Julia Balk, one of which shows the vandalized basketball player figure.

Black Student Movement photographs, 1994-1997 #40400, Series: "Photographs and Slides, 1970s-2003." Box 1

Includes an image of Alice Walker, who spoke on censorship in fall 1996. Includes two images of the 1997 BSM Coronation Ball. Also includes negatives of some 1994 and 1997 prints, copy slides from 1996, and slides depicting the 1997 presentation of 22 demands to Chancellor Hooker and the demonstration in support of campus housekeepers and groundskeepers.

Black Student Movement photographs, January-March 1998, undated 1998. #40400, Series: "Photographs and Slides, 1970s-2003." Box 1

Includes negatives and copy slides.

Box 2

Black Student Movement photographs, April-December 1998 #40400, Series: "Photographs and Slides, 1970s-2003." Box 2

Includes 1998 Umoja Awards presentations. Also includes a photograph of Kathleen Neal Cleaver delivering the November 1998 Sonja Haynes Stone Memorial Lecture.

Black Student Movement photographs, 1999 #40400, Series: "Photographs and Slides, 1970s-2003." Box 2

Includes 1999 Umoja Awards presentations. Also includes photographs of a rally and march against the death penalty, part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Week celebration.

Black Student Movement photographs, 2000-2003, undated 2000s. #40400, Series: "Photographs and Slides, 1970s-2003." Box 2

Includes numerous candid photographs of students. Includes a number of photographs of Julian Bond, who gave the keynote address during the 2000 Martin Luther King Jr. Week. Also includes a number of photographs of Johnnie Cochran, who spoke at UNC-Chapel Hill on racism on 20 February 2000.

Miscellaneous photographs #40400, Series: "Photographs and Slides, 1970s-2003." Box 2

Includes a number of publicity photographs from the 1960s and 1970s. These include images of Kenneth B. Clark, Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, Diahann Carroll, Betty White, Hattie McDaniel, James Baldwin, Jesse Jackson, Johnny Mathis, Conrad Tillard, Ossie Davis, Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, Sterling A. Brown, Nelson Mandela, Jesse Helms, Cicely Tyson, Louis Farrakhan, and the cast and company of the Broadway production of SARAFINA!. Also includes several undated, unidentified photographs.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Printed Materials, 1997-2012.

About 20 items.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by file name, then chronological.

Annual Coronation Gala programs, Black Student Movement membership handbooks, and other printed materials.

Box 3

Coronation Gala Programs, 2008-2012 #40400, Series: "Printed Materials, 1997-2012." Box 3

Programs list candidates for Mr. BSM, Miss BSM, and other titles.

Membership Handbooks, 1997, 2000, 2011-2012 #40400, Series: "Printed Materials, 1997-2012." Box 3

Includes a list of members for the 2011-2012 year.

Other, 1998-2012, undated #40400, Series: "Printed Materials, 1997-2012." Box 3

Several clippings; a 1998 cartoon titled "Student Stores' Magazine Section," depicting The Daily Tar Heel as a tabloid; the "Black Ink Pre-O 2012 Special"; the 45th Anniversary BSM History Exhibition program, 7 November 2012; and a "Visibility Matters" bumpersticker.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scrapbooks, 1996-2009.

2 items.

Scrapbooks consist primarily of clippings from The Daily Tar Heel and other newspapers. Topics covered include homecoming, Mr. and Ms. UNC, the Black Cultural Center controversy, tuition hikes, African American student recruitment, and the BSM fund freeze. Also mentioned are Alice Walker's fall 1996 visit to speak on censorship, the campus group Students Seeking Historical Truth, former Black Panther Kathleen Neal Cleaver's November 1998 visit, and David Horowitz's controversial stance against reparations for slavery. A series on African American history milestones and an editorial on African American athletes as slaves are also included.

Oversize Volume SV-40400/1

Scrapbook, 1998-2001 #40400, Series: "Scrapbooks, 1996-2009." SV-40400/1

Clipping topics include athletes as slaves, the BSM fund freeze, homecoming, tuition hikes, African American student recruitment, Kathleen Neal Cleaver's November 1998 visit, and David Horowitz's stance on reparations for slavery.

Oversize Volume SV-40400/2

Scrapbook, 1996, 1998-2000, 2009 #40400, Series: "Scrapbooks, 1996-2009." SV-40400/2

Includes a 1999-2000 member and officer list for the Black Student Movement. Topics include Alice Walker's fall 1996 visit, the use of the David Benjamin Clayton Endowment for the Black Cultural Center, Students Seeking Historical Truth, tuition hikes, homecoming, Julian Bond's January 2000 visit during Martin Luther King Jr. Week, and elections for Student Body President. Also included is a series of clippings on African American history milestones.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Oversized Papers, 2003-2012.

3 items.

Arrangement: Chronological.

Three tri-fold display boards illustrating the history of the Black Student Movement and advertising its activities.

Extra Oversize Paper XOP-40400/1

"A Look at Our Past" display board, 2003 #40400, Series: "Oversized Papers, 2003-2012." XOP-40400/1

Mostly photographs of general student life and BSM events, including the Umoja Awards and the Coronation Gala. Also includes issues of Black Ink.

Extra Oversize Paper XOP-40400/2

"BSM 40" display board, 2007 #40400, Series: "Oversized Papers, 2003-2012." XOP-40400/2

Mostly information on the history of the Black Student Movement and African Americans at the university. Featured are Karen L. Parker, Harvey Elliot Beech, and Benjamin Ruffin.

Extra Oversize Paper XOP-40400/3

"Ebony Readers Onyx Theater" display board, 2012 #40400, Series: "Oversized Papers, 2003-2012." XOP-40400/3

Includes information on the Ebony Readers Onyx Theater (EROT), a subgroup of the BSM. Information mostly relates to auditioning and joining. Includes some photographs.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Artifacts, 2012.

1 item.

A 45th Anniversary Black Student Movement t-shirt. Transferred to the North Carolina Collection Gallery.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Morgan Jones, March 2013

Encoded by: Morgan Jones, March 2013

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