CART Fellow Jazmin Benton (PhD student in Visual Studies) created a digital exhibition titled "See you when I see you...": Black Student Life at UCSC 1965-present, which showcases the many experiences of Black students at UC Santa Cruz from its establishment in 1965 through the present day. Benton spent dozens of hours leafing through archival collections including the J. Herman Blake papers, Merrill College records, and unprocessed university archives and ephemera, finding flyers, reports, photographs, and firsthand accounts of how Black students have experienced the campus and how the campus has responded (or not responded) to their needs.
In Benton's own words:
As this exhibition shows, official reports and initiatives from UCSC crop up repeatedly. Recruitment and retention efforts cycle through, failing to address the daily realities of Black life on UCSC’s campus. Black students throughout the years have faced similar barriers since the first handful of us were admitted. The narratives and documents listed here will show how students were subjected to conditions such as being the only Black student in their classes, not having the resources available to center their work around Blackness, and no recourse available when faced with racist behavior.
There will also be a display of physical items from this exhibit in the Third Floor Gallery of McHenry Library, opening in February 2022. Visit our website for more details.