The University of Texas (UT) is excited to announce the formal addition of the UT Black Studies Archive to the Black Diaspora Archive held at the Benson Latin American Collection.
An overview of the three-part BDA blog series Curating an Oral History of Alpha Kappa Alpha by Briana Marie Davis (Class of 2021) has been featured on Tex Libris, and can be read here.
Oral history interviews from the Shankleville Community Oral History Collection are now available online!
Unearthing the Histories of Black Women in Higher Education
One of the most intriguing bits of history I’ve encountered during this project is the relationships between Black and white fraternities. The first Black Greek-letter organization on campus was none other than the Delta Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. On May 16, 1959, Delta Xi charter members Alnita F. Rettig, Jerry Ann Cannon, Barbara Caruthers, Evelyn Deason, Donna Licia Guess, Mamie Flora Hans, Miriam Jean Jones, Bettye Joanne McAdams, Carolyn Nan Mims, Doris Price, Mary Simpson, Walta Marie Smith, Janice Strickland, Gloria D. Truscott, and Mabel Joyce Wilson officially integrated Greek organizations at the University of Texas.
AKA Impact on Campus & Beyond
The impact of the signature projects created and facilitated by the Delta Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. reaches beyond the Forty Acres and into the lives of Austin mothers and their children. Working in East Austin, where, historically, the majority of African American Austinites have resided, since 1959 Delta Xi has held events to aid battered women, and to provide holiday parties, daycare, resources, encouragement, and toys for impoverished families. Continue reading “Curating an Oral History of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at The University of Texas || Part II”
The honorable Delta Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. was the first Black Greek-letter organization to be established at The University of Texas at Austin. Sworn in on May 16, 1959, at high noon in the Queen Anne Room, this particular group of women is dripping in legacy, poignant programs, community service, and rich history. As an archivist in training, with the unique opportunity to not only archive an oral history but curate it from scratch, I see it as my duty to extract the essence and diversity of these highly valuable experiences among the Delta Xi women. This blog series will contain three parts, one published each month during the summer of 2021. Continue reading “Curating an Oral History of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at The University of Texas || Part I”
Natalie Hill is one of the inaugural members of the Consuelo Artaza and Dr. Carlos Castañeda Diversity Alliance Residency Program. She is currently in her second semester of the residency.
In 2017, the BDA began a strategic initiative to increase the Benson’s acquisition of rare books featuring Black Diaspora subjects. In its first year, this project brought in eight new titles, including three books from Jamaican graphic novelist Andrew Francis’ series, The Cat.
On Friday, September 14, 2018, the BDA celebrated the archive and exhibition opening of the Edmund W. Gordon Papers. Continue reading “Highlights from the Edmund W. Gordon Archive and Exhibition Opening”