Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ball State University African American Student Organization Records Now Available in the Digital Media Repository

The Ball State University African American Student Organizations Records is a new collection in the Ball State University Digital Media Repository that highlights student life and community engagement on campus. The selection of materials come from the Black Student Association records and the Robert Foster papers, who was the former director of the Ball State University Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Highlights of the Ball State University African American Student Organizations Records include the Black Voice and House Lines newsletters. These newsletters come from the Robert Foster papers that are housed at the Ball State University Archives & Special Collections. Black Voice was a newsletter produced by the Black Student Association that highlighted the community involvement of the Black students at Ball State University as well as University events. The newsletter House Lines was produced by the Minority Student Development Office. With the tag line of “Reflecting the Past, Welcoming the New”, this newsletter sought to encourage Minority student success, engage with the Black Student Association, and update the Ball State University community on Minority student events and resources. 
April 1978 edition of Black Voice covering the visit of Ossie Davis
and Ruby Dee to Ball State University. 
A cornerstone of this collection are the programs that showcase the evolution of the Miss Black Ball State Pageant to the present day Miss Unity pageant. Miss Black Ball State was an extension of the community involvement the Black Student Association completed and encouraged minority students to participate in the pageant scholarship program. Many of the programs from Miss Black Ball State are highlighted in the Ball State University African American Student Organizations Records and also include a scrapbook from the beginning of the pageant. In recent years, the pageant became known as the Miss Unity pageant and many of the programs from this pageant are also included in the Ball State University African American Student Organizations Records. The programs from these pageants are housed in the Black Student Association Records, which are available for research at the Ball State University Archives and Special Collections.

1978 Miss Black Ball State Program
Along with this collection, the Allen Williams Ball State University Black Alumni Collection contain photographs, scrapbooks, and newsletters from Black Alumni of Ball State University. The photographs and scrapbooks contain photographs from many years of Black Alumni Reunions. Another resource that highlights the stories of Black Alumni is the Ball State University African American Alumni Oral Histories. This collection contains twenty interviews of Black Alumni who had attended Ball State University or worked for the university from the years of 1950 to 2000. These audiovisual histories highlight the evolution of student life on campus and showcase the growing diversity of Ball State University.

The Ball State University African American Student Organizations Records showcases the continued community involvement of the Black Student Association and the legacy of the Minority Student Development Office and its director Robert Foster. For more information about the Black Student Association records, the Robert Foster papers, or other collections contact Ball State University Archives and Special Collections at libarchives@bsu.edu or (765) 285-5078.

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