The History of the Emory Black Student Union Records, 2013-2016: A Collaboration Between Student Activists and the Emory University Archives

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Title

The History of the Emory Black Student Union Records, 2013-2016: A Collaboration Between Student Activists and the Emory University Archives

Subject

The Rise of Student Activism in the Age of Social Media

Description

There is a long history of Black student protest at Emory University. Beginning in 1969, after the institution’s desegregation in 1962, Black students began to express their dissatisfaction with the institutional culture. They felt as though they were brought to the university to assimilate into White culture, rather than to elucidate the Black experience and see it represented within the fabric of the institution’s mainstream culture. They also formed the Black Student Alliance (BSA) and created a list of demands addressed to Emory’s administration. Some of these demands were met, and some were not. One of the demands that were met was the funding of the Department of Afro-American Studies. The legacy of Black student activism lived on at a Emory as evident by the Black student protests and demands spanning from the years of 2013-2015. During these years, Black students from different clubs and organizations joined together to speak out against injustice, demands for a safe space, and advocate for equity for all on Emory University’s campus. One of the results of this student activism was the establishment of the Emory Black Student Union (EBSU), which is a safe space for Black students on campus. The EBSU has a leadership team of a university staff advisor as well as paid student interns. The internship positions include the role of a Historian. In the EBSU’s third year of existence, during the academic year of 2015-2016, I served as the EBSU’s Historian. My responsibilities consisted of publicly displaying the history of Black student activism via multimedia presentations as well as archiving the EBSU’s manuscript and born digital records into Emory University's Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (also called the Rose Library). I was a student, creator, custodian, historian, and archivist. I collaborated with John Bence, Emory University's University Archivist, who conducted outreach with the EBSU, to fulfill the archiving responsibilities. We archived the EBSU’s records, which consisted of the records and photographs of Emory University’s Black student organizations. During the subsequent summer after my EBSU internship, I completed a paid summer internship in Emory University's Rose Library and processed the EBSU records, which are officially called the Emory Black Student Union records, 2013-2016 (see the collection’s finding aid here: https://findingaids.library.emory.edu/documents/eua0282ebsu/?keywords=emory+black+student+union). Throughout my internship at the Rose Library, I processed the EBSU collection and rose awareness about it through a blog post that I wrote, which was published on the Rose Library’s website (see the blog post here: https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/marbl/2016/07/26/black-student-union-collection/). Furthermore, my summer internship in Emory's Rose Library served as a professional launching pad for me before I began my Master’s program in Library and Information Science at the iSchool at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Throughout this experience, I developed an understanding of the ways in which the archivist as activist dynamic is accomplished. As a current Project Archivist at the Rose Library, I am continuing to develop my role as an archivist and an activist.

Creator

NaVosha Copeland

Source

https://findingaids.library.emory.edu/documents/eua0282ebsu/printable/

Publisher

Project STAND

Date

02/07/2019

Contributor

NaVosha Copeland

Rights

Copyright © 2019 by NaVosha Copeland. This work is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Relation

[no text]

Format

PDF

Language

EN

Type

Conference paper

Identifier

[no text]

Coverage

Emory University

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

[no text]

Original Format

.docx

Citation

NaVosha Copeland, “The History of the Emory Black Student Union Records, 2013-2016: A Collaboration Between Student Activists and the Emory University Archives,” STAND Digital Library, accessed September 26, 2021, https://standarchives.omeka.net/items/show/1.