Now on view: "We Were Pioneers"

Now on view: "We Were Pioneers"

Students gather at the Second Annual University of Miami Blues Festival during Black Culture Week in the 1970s.

Image from the UM Historical Photograph Collection, University Archives, University of Miami Libraries

By Library Communications

Students gather at the Second Annual University of Miami Blues Festival during Black Culture Week in the 1970s.

Image from the UM Historical Photograph Collection, University Archives, University of Miami Libraries

Now on view: "We Were Pioneers"

By Library Communications
An exhibit honoring the University of Miami’s African-American students, faculty, and administrators of the 1960s and 1970s.

Celebrate Black History Month with an exhibition at the University of Miami Libraries. Now on view in the first-floor gallery space at the Otto G. Richter Library, University Archives cordially invites you to the encore presentation of We Were Pioneers: Honoring the University of Miami’s African-American Students, Faculty, and Administrators of the 1960s and 1970s. The exhibit documents the University of Miami’s desegregation history through historical images, University publications, and organizational records. In addition, rarely seen videos depicting the process of integration at The U that feature Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President Henry King Stanford, and others have been included as a component of the exhibit.

We Were Pioneers was originally presented in February 2017 to coincide with the University of Miami Alumni Association’s highly successful program, “UTrailblazers: Celebrating Our First Black Graduates,” which was hosted by the Black Alumni Society on February 24 and 25, 2017. The exhibit was curated and researched by University Archivist Koichi Tasa and Marcia Heath, archives specialist for University Archives, in collaboration with the Black Alumni Society, United Black Students, and Dr. Donald Spivey, senior advisor for the exhibit and distinguished professor of history at the University of Miami.

In addition to representing UM’s heritage, the exhibit illustrates how The U was the first institute of higher education in South Florida to accept minority students, provide them with scholarships and counselling, and offer courses on African-American subjects. Since then, UM has continued to support local African-American communities with programs, such as Upward Bound and Miami Black Arts. 

Please contact Koichi Tasa with any questions about the exhibit or if you have research inquiries about the history of desegregation at UM.