Archive for the 'CCR' 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.



Center for Civil Rights Releases Education Conference Video

The education conference hosted by UNC’s Center for Civil Rights (CCR) took place on April 2, 2009, the day before the Long Civil Rights Movement Conference hosted by the Southern Oral History Program. Entitled “Looking to the Future: Legal and Policy Options for Racially Integrated Education in the South and the Nation,” the conference presented a multidisciplinary set of panels aimed at translating academic studies into practical advice for activists, policymakers, and education professionals as schools all over the United States—especially in the South—resegregate.  The CCR has just released videos of the entire conference, including every panel and the keynote.

The following highlights, while not a comprehensive report on this well-planned conference, are intended to offer a taste of what took place and a brief introduction to the videos. The CCR, the LCRM project team, and the University of North Carolina Press are working on making the papers available online and in book form in the future.


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Registration now open for the Center for Civil Rights Conference

Registration is now open for “Looking to the Future: Legal and Policy Options for Racially Integrated Education in the South and the Nation,” this year’s Center for Civil Rights Conference co-sponsored by the UNC Law School, the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, and the University of Georgia Education Policy and Evaluation Center.

The conference will focus on the future of integrated public education in the wake of the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (PICS).

More than 20 nationally acclaimed social scientists and attorneys will discuss topics including:

  • Making the Case for Racially integrated Education
  • Finding Viable Legal Strategies for Racial Equity post-PICS
  • Evaluating Socioeconomic Based Assignment Plans
  • Building Political Will for Integrated Public Schools post-PICS
  • Achieving Racial Equity through Strategic Public Policies

To register, please visit the UNC Center for Civil Rights conference website or click here.