Jeremy Thompson is a Diversity Resident Librarian at the University of Texas Libraries.
The John S. and Drucie R. Chase Building Archive is stewarded by the Black Diaspora Archive and can be accessed through a variety of avenues. The oral histories and photographs can be accessed online via the University of Texas Libraries Collections portal, here. The analog artifacts of the collection have been described in the collection’s TARO finding aid and can be requested in the Benson Latin American Collection’s rare books and manuscripts reading room. For more in-depth history about the Chase Building, visit CCE’s showcase on it and their series of videos centered around the building and its surrounding communities. Collections like the Chase Building Archive provide us the opportunity to learn how Black communities and spaces come about, and warn us about the diaspora that looms with their absence.
For more on the history of the John S. and Drucie R. Chase House and the archive, read Jeremy’s full article here.
A historical archive project that traces the routes of Texas’ domestic slave trade has received a grant of $119,326 over two years to expand its digital presence. The Texas Domestic Slave Trade (TXDST) project was founded by Daina Ramey Berry, Chair of UT Austin’s Department of History, and Rachel E. Winston, Black Diaspora Archivist at UT Libraries. The TXDST project manager is Sheena Moore, a senior administrative associate in the Department of History. The grant is funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), which is a collaboration between the Mellon Foundation and the National Archives that aims to expand cultural diversity in American history.
A scholar and statesman, the Honorable Dr. Eric Eustace Williams (1911-1981) led Trinidad and Tobago for over a quarter of a century. He oversaw the country’s independence from Britain in 1962 and 1976 transition to a Republic. Williams served as Prime Minister until his death in 1981.
In April 2021, the Eric Williams Memorial Lecture (EWML) moved from Florida International University to its new home at the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. To mark the occasion, the BDA collaborated with the Eric Williams Memorial Collection Research Library, Archives & Museum at The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago, and the staff of the Alma Jordan Library at The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago to create the online exhibition, Celebrating Eric Williams.
As the 2019-2020 AKA Scholars Black Diaspora Archive Intern, Zaria El-Fil curated an exhibition documenting Black student activism on UT’s campus in the 1970s. Campus closure due to COVID-19 prevented the exhibition from happening, but you can read more about Zaria’s research and experience using the John L. Warfield Papers in the 2019-2020 issue of Portal: Web Magazine of LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collection found here.
With all the events going on around town this month, it’s easy to forget that we have several excellent art galleries right on campus. Luckily, I’m here to remind you about two shows currently on display at the Art Galleries at Black Studies (AGBS) and the Benson Latin American Collection which spotlight both diverse artists and the wealth of art resources here at UT Austin.
Last month, the Black Diaspora Archive announced its inaugural exhibition featuring the works of psychologist, academic and social activist Edmund W. Gordon, the namesake to UT’s Gordon-White building.