Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Ball State University Libraries Exhibit Celebrates Black History Month

A new Archives and Special Collections exhibit entitled Overcoming Racial Barriers: The History of African American Education in Muncie runs from February 6, 2017 to March 31, 2017 on the second floor of Bracken Library.

The exhibit includes archival photographs, newspaper articles, and publications by prominent members of the African American community highlighting the intersection of Civil Rights issues and education in Muncie’s history.  Also included are materials specifically documenting the African American experience at Ball State, including historic archival records from African American fraternities and sororities, faculty members, and cultural programming organizations.

The history of African American education in Muncie is one of gradual success. The Civil Rights Movement began to address the racial discrimination in the Muncie Community Schools and prompted activism in the Ball State community.  This exhibit examines Muncie school districts, influential local educators, the gradual acceptance of African American students in Muncie school clubs and sports teams, and the emergence of community support organizations for African American students in the area, showing the changes that occurred in the history of Muncie’s educational system. 

In 1925, Ball State University had its first African American graduate.  Since then, the African American population on campus has continually changed and advanced the university. The creation of the Black Student Union, the Miss Black Ball State pageant, African American Greek Life and alternative student newspapers were all ways in which students were able express their racial identity and open up a conversation about race and education.

For more information, contact Ball State University Archives and Special Collections at libarchives@bsu.edu or (765) 285-5078.

Hurley Goodall was the first African American Muncie Community School Board member.  He is pictured standing and to the left, 1970  

Dr. Robert O. Foster (sitting in the middle) is seated with two students at the Minority Development Office at Ball State University, 1984

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