Season 3: HBCU Library Alliance Tour

Buckle up for a college tour road trip! Season 3 spotlights people and collections at six HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) libraries and shares stories about these cornerstones of culture and historical knowledge.

We travel from the inner harbor of Baltimore, Maryland, to the “Queen City” of Charlotte, North Carolina; from the champion trees of Columbia, South Carolina, to the magnolias of Lorman, Mississippi; and from the bayous of New Orleans, Louisiana to the rolling hills of Nashville, Tennessee. We consider the impact of HBCU library collections on society both locally and abroad. How do we tell the story of Black history from the archives? What are the roles of cultural heritage institutions in the preservation of Black culture? What are the challenges these institutions face? And where do we go from here?

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Season 3

S3 E7: Cradle of Student Protest

In this last stop on our HBCU Library Alliance tour, we visit Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, a town known as the cradle of student protest. DeLisa Minor Harris provides a stunning overview...

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S3 E6: Sankofa

The Lowcountry of South Carolina is home to the Gullah Geechee people, whose language and traditions retain strong connections to their West African ancestors. But gentrification threatens their ability to practice the crafts...

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S3 E5: By Actions and Not by Words

Take a deep dive into Tuskegee University’s remarkable collections, from the notebooks of George Washington Carver to 20th century newspapers and photographs documenting the lives of ordinary Black Alabamans. In this episode, we...

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S3 E4: If Walls Could Talk

Librarian Blanche Sanders has spent her career at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi—a longevity that’s not unusual at Alcorn, which inspires such loyalty it holds the Guinness World Record for most siblings...

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S3 E3: Walking on Sacred Ground

As the inaugural university archivist at Morgan State University, Dr. Ida Jones has a unique window into Maryland’s largest HBCU. Morgan’s history is deeply entwined with the history of Black politics, activism, and...

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S3 Bonus: Cadence to the Rhythm of Life

Kofi Amu Horne, who created the theme music for this season of Material Memory, started drumming before he was two. Join us for a special bonus episode where Kofi talks about drumming as...

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S3 E2: There’s Magic in Creating Something from Nothing

Museums are for everyone, says librarian and curator Erika Witt. Join us for a conversation about Southern University at New Orleans’s African art collection, her transformative trip to Egypt, and how galleries, libraries,...

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S3 E1: Our Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) occupy a remarkable space in American education, showcasing both the richness of Black intellectual tradition and the tenacity required to thrive in the face of racial hostility...

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