Materials From NCCU Include Student Boycott Papers, Hillside High School Memorabilia, and More

A group of three students gathered around their advisor, seated, all looking at a piece of paper.

Ex Umbra Editorial Conference [1965]

An exciting assortment of materials from our partner, North Carolina Central University, has just been added to our site! This batch includes several issues of the NCCU’s student newspaper The Campus Echo from 1970-2010, copies of the student literary magazine Ex Umbra, a university yearbook from 2011, men and women’s student handbooks, and some programs advertising the university and its departments. There are also several photographs of the Ex Umbra staff from the 1960s, as well as correspondence from the Student Government Association (SGA) boycott in 1970.

A white yearbook cover with a large, blue "72," a cartoon hornet, and the word "Hornet" written vertically.Along with materials about the university are materials from some of the historic Black high schools in Durham, especially Hillside High School. This batch has seven issues of the Hillside High School yearbook The Hornet (plus one yearbook from John R. Hawkins High School and two from the Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing). It also has several reunion programs and speeches, alumni directories, building and land records, a copy of the Hillside History Book, and two issues of the student newspaper The Hillside Chronicle. Though our partner did not have many issues of the Hillside High School student newspaper on file, we hope members of the community will be willing to contribute any issues they have saved to help make our digital collection more complete.

One especially exciting record from NCCU is the collection of boycott and student protest materials, which includes leaflets and a letter from a 1961 business boycott by the NAACP Youth Councils and College Chapters and correspondence from the 1970 SGA boycott. The 1961 boycott letter lists several recognizable stores that the NAACP YCCC successfully boycotted, and it makes an interesting mention of the role of race as an admission factor at Durham Academy. Separately, the demands of the SGA boycott (1970) are spelled out more clearly in this collection of correspondence between then-SGA President Phillip Henry and then-University President Albert Whiting. In the first document, students announce their intention to boycott classes until their “grievances and demands have been met to the satisfaction of the student body.” The organizers recommend the formation of a committee of students and faculty—where each have equal voting power—to implement solutions. For students looking for models of collective action and bargaining, these papers would be a good place to start.

A red and white cover with a majorette marching and a flag that reads, "Twenty-Seventh State Band Festival."In terms of high school materials, one unique item from this batch is the Twenty-Seventh State Band Festival Program from 1961. The festival welcomed bands to Fayetteville State Teachers College and recognized some of the band directors from around the state. Former and current band kids may appreciate the list of pieces approved for the 1962 festival as well as the (somewhat familiar) rating system below. 

You can see the full batch of photos, programs, and other documents here, and the full batch of yearbooks and literary magazines can be found here. You can also see all issues of the North Carolina Central University student newspaper here and all issues of the Hillside High School student newspaper here. To see all materials from NCCU, you can visit their partner page and their website.

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This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features the latest news and highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from organizations across North Carolina.

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