Archives and Special Collections
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Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids

Printable Finding Aid. Back to Browsing Version.

Collection Overview
Title: African-American Institute records
Call Number:A81
Volume:.70 cubic ft. (2 boxes)
Scope and Content Note:This collection documents the formation of the African-American Institute between 1967 and 1969 and its activities between 1969 and 2001. Included are proposals to establish the Afro-American Institute; brochures and booklets describing its history and services; student handbooks; fliers and programs for events; news articles about its establishment and anniversary; grant proposals for funding the Afro-American Institute, its library, and a laboratory drop-out program; and a report on the Afro-American Institute's pre-freshman summer program.
Historical Note: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.
Arrangement:Arranged in one alphabetical sequence.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). John D. O'Bryant African-American Institute
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). African-American Institute

  • African American college students -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • African Americans -- Education -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • African Americans -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Students

Restrictions: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.
Processor:Finding aid prepared by Jennifer Snider and Archives Staff, June 2004


1969-1971Charles H. Turner, Director
1971Ntozake Shange, Director
1972-1976Gregory T. Ricks, Director
1977Arthur Davis Jr., Director
1977-1978George A. Rowland, Director
1979-1982Virgil Wood, Director
1983Leslie F. Griffin Jr., Director
1984-1986John C. Norman, Director
1987-1992James Keith Motley, Director
1993-Lula E. Petty-Edwards, Director
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1Afro-American Institute Admissions Handbook[197?]
Afro-American Institute Library
1Administrationn.d., 1980-1986
1Bibliographies for African American Studies1975-1976
1Brochures and Newsletters1975-1994
2"Afro-American Institute Pre-Freshman Summer Program": Report (Restricted until 2047) (4 folders)1972
1"Am-African Journal of Research and Education"1981
1Counseling Services1978
1Demolition of the Afro-American Institute Building: Protest Fliers and Handouts2001
1Event Invitations1976-2000
1Event Programsn.d., 1977-1999
1Graduate Study Recruitment Postern.d.
1Grant Proposals1967, 1969, 1977
1"The History of the African American Institute: The Early Years" by Robert C. Hayden1993
1Informational Booklets and Pamphlets (2 folders)n.d., 1974-1983, 1993-1998
1News Articles1968, 1993, 1998
1Orienting Yourself for Achievement: Student Guide1983
1Proposal to Establish the Afro-American Instituten.d., 1969
1Program Planningn.d., 1969-1977
1Project Ujiman.d.
1Search Committee for Director 1976-1978
1Twentieth Anniversary Newsletter1988
1Thirtieth Anniversary Newsletter1998