Archive for the 'Conference News' Category

From the Archives: Burford’s Success Story–the Black Studies Department at Duke

This post contains highlights of material from the Triangle Research Libraries Network’s CCC project, digitizing 40 archival collections related to the long civil rights movement from four area institutions. For more on this digitization project, click here.

In 1972, Walter Burford, the director of Duke’s Black Studies Department, referred to Duke’s program as “the most progressive in the South.” 1 Though at the time there was still much progress to be made towards the department’s permanent establishment, its presence was seen as a huge benefit for students on campus and the wider Durham community. In Burford’s eyes, Black Studies was a crucial element of a modern education, and he was “convinced that no one can receive a complete education without exposure to the experience and concerns of black people.” 1

After its founding in 1970, the Black Studies department sponsored courses, symposia, and lectures to give the African American experience a stronger voice in Duke’s academic community. In addition to high participation from the school’s African American students, courses offered by the department also saw interest from many white students; in a 1972 article written for Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, Burford mentions religion and pre-medicine majors in particular “who see the relation of black studies to their own fields.” 1

While the creation of the Black Studies Department was a huge achievement for Duke, of the designation “most progressive in the South,” Burford acknowledged that “given the history of white, Southern institutions, I don’t know how much that is saying.” 1 Burford especially hoped to be able to bring more black faculty to Duke so that course offerings in the department could be expanded, but at the time continued funding was a major concern. Initial development for the department was sponsored by a $100,000 two-year grant from the Ford Foundation. In the third year, Duke University took responsibility for supplying the program’s funding, though annual funds were reduced from $50,000 to $41,000. To continue to meet the needs of the young department and its students, Burford strongly believed that the program would need space and money to grow.

Burford’s thoughts on Duke’s Black Studies Department can be found in this 1972 article from The Chronicle, digitized through the CCC grant as part of the Department of African and African American Studies records.

 

1. http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/findingaids/uaafro/#daams02035

Video of the Week: Larry J. Griffin on the Southern Past

Larry J. Griffin, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, gives his talk “Race, Memory, and Historical Responsibility: What Do Southerners Do with a Difficult Past?” at The Long Civil Rights Movement: Histories, Politics, Memories, a conference hosted by the Southern Oral History Program, April 2-4, 2009. For more video, visit the LCRM Common Room.

Meet Gene Nichol

Gene Nichol, LCRM conference panelist and Board of Consultant member among many other roles, was recently on WUNC’s The State of Things to discuss his life and his position as Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at UNC. You can listen to the interview online here and get a chance to meet Gene Nichol.

Video of the Week: Kathryn L. Nasstrom on Historical Memory

Kathryn L. Nasstrom of the University of San Francisco comments on the panel “Race, Memory, and Reconciliation,” which featured papers by Renee C. Romano and Larry J. Griffin. The panel was part of “The Long Civil Rights Movement: Histories, Politics, Memories,” a conference hosted by the Southern Oral History Program, April 2-4, 2009. For more video, visit the LCRM Common Room.

Video of the Week: Michael Lienesch on Conservative Politics

Michael Lienesch of the University of North Carolina comments on papers by Matthew D. Lassiter and Joseph Crespino given at “The Long Civil Rights Movement: Histories, Politics, Memories,” a conference hosted by the Southern Oral History Program, April 2-4, 2009. For more video, visit the LCRM Common Room.

Video of the Week: Karen Kruse Thomas on Jim Crow Health Policy

Karen Kruse Thomas of Johns Hopkins University gives her talk, “Deluxe Jim Crow Health Policy: The Bridge between the New Deal and the Civil Rights Movement,” at The Long Civil Rights Movement: Histories, Politics, Memories, a conference hosted by the Southern Oral History Program, April 2-4, 2009. For more video, visit the LCRM Common Room.

Video of the Week: Paul Ortiz on Black and Brown Workers

Paul Ortiz of the University of Florida comments on papers by Zaragosa Vargas and William P. Jones at The Long Civil Rights Movement: Histories, Politics, Memories, a conference hosted by the Southern Oral History Program, April 2-4, 2009. For more video, visit the LCRM Common Room.

Video of the Week: Zaragosa P. Vargas on Mexican-American Activists

Zaragosa Vargas of the University of California at Santa Barbara gives his talk, “The Other Struggle for Equal Rights: Mexican-American Labor Activists Fight for Political Rights in South Texas, 1946-1963,” at The Long Civil Rights Movement: Histories, Politics, Memories, a conference hosted by the Southern Oral History Program, April 2-4, 2009. For more video, visit the LCRM Common Room.

Video of the Week: John C. Boger on Liberty and Equality

John C. Boger, Dean of the University of North Carolina’s School of Law, discusses papers by Nancy MacLean and Robert O. Self at The Long Civil Rights Movement: Histories, Politics, Memories, a conference hosted by the Southern Oral History Program, April 2-4, 2009. For more video, visit the LCRM Common Room.

Video of the Week: Robert O. Self on the privacy quandary

Robert O. Self of Brown University gives his talk, “Sexual Citizenship and the Privacy Quandary in American Politics, 1965-1976” at The Long Civil Rights Movement: Histories, Politics, Memories, a conference hosted by the Southern Oral History Program, April 2-4, 2009. For more videos, visit the LCRM Common Room.