Taking Root: Developing the Black Studies Center at the Claremont Colleges (1969-1979)

This exhibit, highlighting the foundation of the Black Studies Center and the Mexican-American Studies Center at the Claremont Colleges, was created in the summer of 2019, thanks to a Hearst Summer Fellowship Award. It grew out of my work on the exhibit "Seeds of Change: Defining Black Space at the Claremont Colleges 1968-70". This exhibit was created by Prof. Harley's Core 3 class "Mobilizing Art: Creating Activist Performances" and ran at the Clark Humanities Museum in December of 2018. It is available to the public, as is this exhibit through the Digital Humanities Claremont Colleges Activism Archive. Via 'Seeds of Change,' Core 3 class commemorated the fifty-year anniversary of the foundation of the Black Studies Center of the Claremont Colleges Consortium. Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, Pomona class of 1969 alumna and current Pomona  trustee, who appeared in one of the photographs of the original exhibit, recognized herself on the exhibit poster, and visited the exhibit in person. She volunteered to tell me her personal narrative of the events, to add to our knowledge of what really happened.  Her interview with me and copies of  articles, primary sources, and photos from her personal archive form the core of the current exhibit. In this exhibit, you will find an oral history interview with Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, selections from her personal archives, and newly digitized resources from the Honnold Library Special Collections.