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Guide to the Records of the Institute of African American Affairs RG.9.8

New York University Archives

Collection processed by University Archives staff and Stacey Flatt

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on October 26, 2020
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Edited by Andrea Kutsenkow to include description of The Soul of Reason audio recordings Updated to include materials integrated from accession number 2018.018 by Kate Fisher Updated to include materials integrated from accession number 2018.044 by Kate Fisher Updated by Stacey Flatt to include unprocessed material; added required note fields; and identified potentially harmful racist and abilist language in file titles  , April 2016 , June 2018 , December 2018 , October 2020

Scope and Content Note

The Records of the Institute of African American Affairs (IAAA) date from 1963 to the early 2000s with a large portion of the collection consisting of material related to the planning and promotion of IAAA conferences and events, in the form of paper files, computer files, and audiovisual recordings. Events with a significant amount of material in the collection include the Black Male Conference; Black Theater Forum; the Artists and Scholars-in-Residence program; Black Genius; the Yari Yari conference for Black women writers; and the Slave Routes: The Long Memory Symposium. A small amount of work files for the IAAA publication Black Renaissance Noire are in this collection, dating from 1992 to 2004.

Files created by IAAA Founding Director Roscoe C. Brown Jr., Acting Director Edward M. Carroll, Earl S. Davis, and Manthia Diawara date from the 1960s to the early 2000s. These files typically contain meeting minutes, correspondence, and research related to the IAAA. Internship program files dating from the 1970s to the 1990s in this collection relate to the Association of Education in Journalism, which was co-founded by Dr. Roscoe C. Brown Jr.

The collection also contains 266 recordings of  The Soul of Reason, a radio talk show that aired between 1971 and 1986, with interviewees which included politicians, professional athletes, medical professionals, and contemporary artists. Audio recordings of another radio talk show,  The Urban League Presents can also be found in this collection. These recordings date from 1963 to 1973 and cover a wide range of topics impacting the Black American community. Audio recordings in this collection from May 1965 highlight an NYU Teach-In which had been organized as a protest against the Vietnam War. Founding IAAA Director Dr. Roscoe C. Brown Jr. was a speaker at the event.


The records are arranged into five series, one of which has been further arranged into three subseries. The series and subseries arrangement of the records is as follows:

Series I. Event Files
Series II. Association for Education in Journalism
Series III. Director Files
Series IV. Audiovisual Recordings
Series IV.A.  Soul of Reason Audio Recordings
Series IV.B. Events Recordings
Series IV.C. Pre-Institute Recordings
Series V. Administrative Files