African American Archives project launched!

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African American Education Hall of Fame LogoIn collaboration with the Dallas African American Museum in Fair Park, the African American Education Archives and History Program (AAEAHP) is launching a new initiative to collect, document and preserve archives related to the history of African Americans in Dallas County. For fifteen years, the African American Education Archives and History Program has collected artifacts, documents, photographs. and oral histories related to the educational experience of African Americans in Dallas County. The AAEAHP Collection at the Dallas African American Museum contains correspondence, personal profiles, newspaper clippings, funeral programs, and oral histories that document the lives and contributions of over 180 educators and others who contributed to the history of African Americans in Dallas County.

With this new initiative, the AAEAHP will continue its mission and seek the archival collections of both recently retired educators as well as others who have made contributions to this important area of the African-American experience. This is a very important initiative. By collecting the documents and artifacts of African Americans in Dallas County the AAEAHP seeks to preserve an aspect of local history that has traditionally been ignored by archival institutions, libraries and “mainstream” historical associations. Most importantly, this initiative seeks to preserve an aspect and perspective of Dallas history that has been ignored historically and neglected.

The AAEAHP is collaborating with the Dallas African American Museum to carry out this new initiative. Indeed, the Dallas African American Museum will house and make available to the public, scholars and students the archival collections that the AAEAHP collects in this new initiative to collect and preserve the history and culture of African Americans in Dallas County.   The African American Museum was founded in 1974 as a part of the Special Collections at Bishop College, a Historically Black College that closed in 1988. The Museum has operated independently since 1979. The $7 million edifice was funded through private donations and a 1985 Dallas City bond election that provided $1.2 million for the construction of the new facility. The African American Museum is the only one of its kind in the Southwestern Region devoted to the preservation and display of African American artistic, cultural and historical materials. It has one of the largest African American Folk Art collections in the United States.

For the past fifteen years, the African American Museum has partnered with the African American Education Archives and History Program to collect, catalog, process, preserve, and house the archives that it collects.

The African American Museum and the AAEAHP are proud to launch this new beginning to collect, document, and preserve the history and contributions of African American educators and others in Dallas County. Articles on African Americans who have made significations to the life and history of North Texas will be featured in weekly newspaper articles throughout the year.

Dr. W. Marvin Dulaney, Associate Professor Emeritus, former chair of the Department of History at the University of Texas at Arlington and Interim of the Center for African American Studies at UTA, will lead this new initiative. In addition to teaching History at UTA for eighteen years, Dr. Dulaney has also served as the Executive Director of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston for fourteen years. During his tenure, the Avery Center increased its archival collections from 110 in 1994 to over 300 in 2008 when he returned to teaching at UTA. He is responsible for the acquisition of the A. Maceo Smith Collection at the African American Museum and the Cleveland Sellers Collection at the Avery Research Center.