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Another Light on the Hill

Another Light on the Hill: A History of Black Undergraduate Students at Tufts, 1900-present
October 3 – December 14, 2003
Koppelman Gallery

Another Light on the Hill is a pictorial exhibit of the history of black male and female undergraduate students at Tufts from 1900 to the present. First displayed in 1988 and again in 1999, the expanded and updated exhibit offers a panoramic treatment of the history of black undergraduates’ experiences over the course of the last century.

To date, there is no written evidence as to when the college’s first black student enrolled or graduated. However, as W.E.B. DuBois did note in 1910, Tufts was an institution that had “sent forth Negro graduates of power and efficiency” although the Medford School did not keep “any record of race or nationality of [its] graduates.” The exhibit chronicles the experiences of black male and female students through their visibility in campus publications, in the university’s Melville Munro Photograph Collection, and through national and local black newspapers and magazines.

While a study of the history of black students at Tufts, the exhibit is also a study of changing patterns of race relations and interracial contact over time. Although Tufts may have enrolled approximately one hundred black male and female students in the decades before the mid-1960s, these students distinguished themselves in the classroom and on the athletic field. Since the mid-1960s, the total number of black students who have attended Tufts has risen exponentially and has become more diverse in terms of ethnicity and place of birth. And, as the exhibit depicts, black students have been involved in any number of campus organizations and sports teams.

— By Curator Gerald Gill, Professor of History, Tufts University

Image: Melville Munro
Eddie Dugger, ca. 1939
Courtesy of Tufts Digital Collections and Archives