The Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive
Archives are where histories are recorded and written, but even at their best, they are imperfect reflections of an imperfect world. Inequities in whose writings are collected produce inequities in whose histories become known, and the failure of vision of one generation becomes failure for the next. The profound contributions to scholarship and activism made by Black Feminists, for example, are still seldom seen in archives, so that the full record of their achievements remains under-recognized and underappreciated.
To raise awareness of the issues and increase visibility of the unique contributions of women of color, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) and the W.E.B. Du Bois Center at the UMass Amherst Libraries have joined with Distinguished Alumna Dr. Irma McClaurin MFA ’76, MA ’89, PhD ’93 in establishing the Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive.
Our stories, our voices, our lives, are too often disregarded, marginalized and left on the cutting floors of films, the editing screens of books, while archivists have ignored us. This archive will be a game changer by preserving and showcasing the intellectual and activist contributions of Black Feminists for all eternity.
– Irma McClaurin
McClaurin Delivers Keynote on the Black Feminist Archive for Midwest Regional African American Studies Biennial Conference
On March 12, 2021, Dr. Irma McClaurin delivered the keynote address via Zoom to the Midwest Regional African American Studies Biennial Conference. The two-day program, held via Zoom because of COVID-19 restrictions, had the theme of “Anti-Racism: Centering the Voices of Black Women.” Ball State African American Studies Program, Teachers College, and the Office ofJuly 13, 2021
Irma McClaurin Wins Wenner Gren Grant for Development of Black Feminist Archive in Special Collections and University Archives, April 2020 April 1, 2020 Irma McClaurin, who earned her Ph.D. and MFA from UMass Amherst, was recently awarded a $15,000 Historical Archives Grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Inc. The funds are for the continuing development of the Irma McClaurinApril 11, 2020
December 23, 2018 @CiteBlackWomen Podcast featured Dr. McClaurin discussing her Black Feminist Archive
This unique collective, movement, and community uses social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) to raise awareness about the intellectual, artistic and political erasures of Black women world wide. With a new website and blog, they have launched the Cite Black Women podcast, a bi-weekly program with a simple message: Cite Black Women. “We have been producingJanuary 1, 2019
The Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive is unique. It will be interdisciplinary Black Feminist archive that is global in scope, and specifically devoted to finding and preserving the contributions of Black women who Black feminists, womanists, ordinary women, activists, artists and scholars. Without a Black Feminist Archive to document our presence, we become invisible in history. The Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive is on a mission to change that.May 22, 2018