Skip to main content

African American Institute records

 Collection
Identifier: A081

Overview

In February 1969, Northeastern University's African American students submitted a proposal to establish the Afro-American Institute and a Black Studies Department. Students envisioned that the Afro-American Institute would provide an academic, cultural, and political base for black students on campus. Northeastern University's Board of Trustees approved setting up the Afro-American Institute in the Forsyth Annex and appointed Charles Turner director. At the Norfolk House in John Eliot Square, Roxbury, a library was established and the first Black Studies courses were held. In 1971, the Afro-American Institute and its library moved to 40 Leon Street. Once Dean Gregory T. Ricks became director in 1972, the Afro-American Institute expanded its mission, offering counseling and tutoring services, sponsoring activities such as the Black Cultural Festival, and working closely with the African American Studies Department. Beginning in 1972 with Project Ujima, the Afro-American Institute also worked to recruit African American freshmen with academic potential, but inadequate preparation for college, to Northeastern University. In 1975, the Amilcar Cabral Memorial Student Center was established to provide cultural and social programs relating to Africans and African Americans. In 1981, the Afro-American Institute became a division of Student Affairs. The Afro-American Institute was renamed the John D. O'Bryant African-American Institute on October 5, 1992 to honor the late John D. O'Bryant, Vice President for Student Affairs. In 2004, the Board of Trustees approved plans for the Afro-American Institute's new home in building F, the final structure in West Campus. It opened in the fall of 2006.

Dates

  • 1967-2001

Creator

Conditions Governing Access:

Records are closed for 25 years from the date of their creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office. Student records (Box 2) are restricted 75 years from the date of graduation.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.

Chronology

  • 1969-1971 Charles H. Turner, Director
  • 1971 Ntozake Shange, Director
  • 1972-1976 Gregory T. Ricks, Director
  • 1977 Arthur Davis Jr., Director
  • 1977-1978 George A. Rowland, Director
  • 1979-1982 Virgil Wood, Director
  • 1983 Leslie F. Griffin Jr., Director
  • 1984-1986 John C. Norman, Director
  • 1987-1992 James Keith Motley, Director
  • 1993- Lula E. Petty-Edwards, Director
1969-1971
Charles H. Turner, Director
1971
Ntozake Shange, Director
1972-1976
Gregory T. Ricks, Director
1977
Arthur Davis Jr., Director
1977-1978
George A. Rowland, Director
1979-1982
Virgil Wood, Director
1983
Leslie F. Griffin Jr., Director
1984-1986
John C. Norman, Director
1987-1992
James Keith Motley, Director
1993-
Lula E. Petty-Edwards, Director

Extent

.70 cubic feet (2 containers)