The Records of the Department of African American Student Affairs (AASA), filling three boxes and spanning the years 1966 to 2001, contain valuable information on the development of the Black community at Northwestern University. The bulk of the records consist of historical information and materials relating to organizations, programs, and events under the sponsorship of the office.
The Historical Records of the Office of African American Student Affairs (AASA) date from ca. 1968 and constitute the agreements between the faculty, administration, and the community, and state the ideology behind the founding of the organization. The Administration records date from ca. 1976, and hold lists of Northwestern's black administrators, a draft of the Hearing and Appeals Board, and an activity report from 1978.
General Lists of black students are included from 1966 to1973, as well as lists of black students by department from 1974 to 1976, and a black student directory from 1975-1976. The records documenting the “New Black House” range from 1972 to 1973. Included is correspondence relating to the costs of remodeling the facility, furniture, and floor plans.
Brochures describe the AASA facility (the House), services, programming, and student organizations under the umbrella of the Office of African American Student Affairs. Clippings date from 1966 to 2001, mostly from The Daily Northwestern and other area papers, and start with the emergence of black students at Northwestern University. Articles about the House and cultural programs are included in addition to coverage of racial conflict on campus. Press Releases announce new academic positions, events, and activities dating from 1973 to 1982.
Topics in the General Correspondence file span the years 1969 to 1974, and run the gamut from admissions, student issues, and administration, to the House, programs, and internships. The correspondence from 1981-1999 is very sparse. Reports and Statistics relate to the academic progress of Black students, administration relationships with Black students, and the distribution of financial aid during the period between 1965 and 1979.
The African American Music Alliance file records the administration and activities of the student group in 1996. The African American Student Affairs Advisory Council contains the year-end report of the Council for 1994-1995. Records pertaining to Black Athletes Uniting for the Light (BAUL), an organization that protects the rights of Black athletes at Northwestern University, are dated from 1968 to 1980. A scrapbook documenting the 1980 scandal involving a past Northwestern football coach, Rick Venturi and player, Dana Hemphill dominates the file. Blackboard, first published by FMO ca. 1971, is the magazine for and by the Black student community. The file includes correspondence and records from 1999-2000 relating to financing and publishing the magazine. These For Members Only (FMO) records from 1968 to 1992 contain a copy of the FMO policy statement, student correspondence, and various proposals. The Northwestern Community Ensemble records consist of the operational correspondence and financial planning of their programs. The Northwestern University Black Alumni Association records include a sampling correspondence about the formation and operation of the organization from 1976-1997.
An important subset of Black student organizations are Black Sororities and Fraternities. Correspondence from 1976-1994 pertaining to managing and facilitating Black Greek life, including facilitating housing and events for Black fraternities and sororities, is included in Black Greek, General. Representatives from affiliated Black Sororities and Fraternities form the Black Greek Council, housed by the Department of African American Student Affairs. Their file includes records and correspondence reflecting the meetings and events sponsored by the Black Greek Council and crises it managed from 1974-1994. Black Greek Organizations, General contains correspondence pertaining to individual Black Greek organizations when the collection does not include a body of correspondence for that organization. Correspondence, (often relating to disciplinary difficulties within the organizations,) program materials and official publications for the individual Black Sororities Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta and the Black Fraternities Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, and Omega Psi Phi from 1984-1994 are filed separately by organization.
The Events presented by the Department of African American Student Affairs (AASA) between 1970 and 1990, are documented with flyers, programs, and schedules for events and activities. Records regarding Black History/Liberation Month/Week contain schedules, posters and flyers dating from 1977 to 1989. Flyers from the Brown Bag Lunch lecture series date from 1982 to 1985, and flyers and correspondence regarding the Christmas Bazaar range from 1979 to 1988. A Musical Evening with our Elders includes records from 1979 to 1990, starting with the first installment in 1979, starring Thomas Dorsey, Phil Cohran, Willie Dixon and Jimmy Ellis. Included are flyers, correspondence, financial records, photographs, and some biographical information on some of the performers.
The Department of African American Student Affairs participated in many University programs involving the Black Community on Campus. General Programs included the Cultural Diversity Project during new student week and the LEAD program in1990. The office also participated in the African American Exchange Program. Records include correspondence and about the program from 1976-1977. The Summer Academic Workshop was first initiated to introduce Black students to college life at Northwestern University. The records from 1975 to 1981 contain correspondence relating to the program, lists of participants, lists of staff, student evaluations of the program, schedules, and drafts of evaluation forms.
The Department of African American Student Affairs often played a role in campus-wide racial conflict. The series includes correspondence pertaining to issues surrounding Campus Police Relationship to Black Students from 1994-1995. The conflict and resulting University efforts surrounding Faculty and Student Diversity Issues in 1989 are recorded in clippings, correspondence, and reports about the issue. Struggles between the African-American campus community and the University Administration around Housing Issues are reflected in correspondence pertaining to racial problems, and also records of policy implementation in the residence halls from 1968-1972.
Student Projects, dated 1973, 1975, and undated, relate to the Black experience at Northwestern University.
As the official advocate for the needs of Black students at Northwestern University, the Office of African American Student Affairs often received copies of correspondence regarding particular incidents of conflict, particularly racial conflict, on and off campus, and the disciplining of African-American students. This correspondence from 1972-2000 is collected in Incident Reports and Disciplinary Reports.