Vol 24 | No 1 | Fall 16
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Showcasing University Archives at the Black Alumni Reunion

ImageThe 2016 Black Family Reunion, hosted by the UC Irvine Alumni Association (UCIAA) Black Alumni Chapter on Sept. 24, was a night of good food, great music and wonderful memories. Almost 200 Anteaters reunited in the Doheny Room of the Student Center to reminisce about their days at UCI and to pay tribute to William "Tambuzi" Carroll, recipient of the chapter's lifetime achievement award. A member of the graduating class of 1977, Tambuzi was UCI's first student affirmative action officer for the UCI Educational Opportunities Program. Tambuzi was an instrumental member of the black student community, as a leader and advocate for inner city students.

Special Collections and Archives was honored to join in the celebration by hosting an exhibit documenting 50 years of the black student experience at UCI. Assistant University Archivist Laura Uglean Jackson, and Oral Historian and Historical Documentation Coordinator Krystal Tribbett welcomed over 50 alumni to the exhibit viewing area. Our very own University Librarian Lorelei Tanji, Director of Development Wendi Morner, and Communications and Events Officer Charla Batey '07 were among the visitors to our tables.

At the exhibit, members of the UCIAA Black Alumni Chapter poured over UCI Anthology yearbooks, leafed through copies of New University, Umoja (a social justice magazine made by and for the Black Community of UCI), and The Blade, the first UCI alternative paper.

The Blade: The Cutting Edge for Change. Founded in 1975, the purpose of the paper was to foster a "communicative link" among the "Third World" communities of the University.  The objectives of Black, Latino and Asian students was "to fuse together into a single general minority students' voice the various factions that are currently protesting some particular aspect of this institution." In 1979, students decided The Blade would serve as the black students' newspaper. The new version of The Blade was published until 1989.

Umoja was founded in 1990 with the goal of addressing issues facing African-American. The news magazine is still published today.

Papers documenting the missions of the UCI Black Student Union and the UCI Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers were on display, as were photographs of black graduate ceremonies, and scrapbooks from the Cross-Cultural Center. Alumni shared stories about The Ghetto, a weekly gathering hosted by black students that was started in the 1970s, the Gentlemen and Ms. Ebony events, brother and sisterhood in UCI's Greek organizations including Delta Sigma Theta and Alpha Kappa Alpha, and planning the annual Martin Luther King Jr. symposium as they spotted friends in pictures and read familiar names in organizational records.

Needless to say, the 2016 UCI Black Family Reunion was a wonderfully successful event and a great opportunity for UCI Libraries to share University Archives with alumni. We anticipate acquiring additional photographs, scrapbooks, and other historical documentation from Anteaters eager to help in the expansion of our records related to the black student experience at UCI.

View photos from the event on the Libraries' Flickr page here.
For more information or to contribute materials please contact, Laura Uglean Jackson, Assistant University Archivist, at lugleanj@uci.edu