Black History Month materials (Kent State)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Kent State University of Ohio.
Est. Completion None


From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Ohio Open Records Law, I hereby request the following records:

Any and all materials related to the establishment of Black History Month in 1969 (including meeting notes, memos, communications, photographs, directives, etc.) and all materials related to its celebration in 1970

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I would request your response within ten (10) business days.


Beryl Lipton

From: Hughes-Watkins, Lae'l


My name is Lae'l Hughes-Watkins and I am the University Archivist at Kent State University. Your request was forwarded to me. I think it's important to provide some context:

According to the publication Involvement: Two Years Later-A Report on Programming in the Area of Black Student Concerns At Kent State University 1968-1970, the following transpired in 1969:

During 1969, the Black United Students celebrated Black History Week. During the celebration, Dean M.E. Wilson, while talking to Donald Thigpen, Coordinator of Minority Affairs, and Nelson Stevens, a graduate student in Art who has been instrumental in much of the existing cultural programming, suggested that the week be extended into Black History Month in 1970. Dean Wilson, a few days later placed Black History Month on the official university calendar for 1970.

The 1970 event, possibly the first of its kind in the country was sponsored by the Black United Students, the Human Relations Center, and the Institute for African American Affairs…

Here is an additional link to provide an overview of the origins of Black History Month.


Origins of Black History Month | Founders of Black History ...<>
The story of Black History Month begins in Chicago during the summer of 1915. An alumnus of the University of Chicago with many friends in the city, Carter G. Woodson ...

If you still want additional information about the meeting held in 1969, I will see what is available in our holdings?


Lae'l Hughes-Watkins
University Archivist, Assistant Professor
Department of Special Collections and Archives
1125 Risman Dr.
Kent, OH 44242
Office: 330-672-1639

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Martin Luther King


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