A Chronology: 1970

Compiled by Howard Dodson

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1970

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Formal Opening of the Institute of the Black World takes place on January 17, 1970 at the Cunningham Auditorium on the campus of Morris Brown College. Under the theme “A Celebration of Blackness,” Coretta Scott King joins with the Katherine Dunham Dance Troupe, the First Church of God and Christ Choir, the Harambee Singers, The Morehouse Glee Club, Val Gray Ward, Ojeda Penn and the Black Image Theater Group among others to celebrate the diversity of the global black experience.

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“The Challenge of Blackness” (April) and “Beyond Chaos: Black History and the Search for the New land” (August) are published as the first two works in the Institute’s Black Paper Series.

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Proceedings of the First National Conference of Black Studies Directors are published.

IBW severs ties with Martin Luther King, Jr. Center.

IBW incorporates as an independent non-profit tax-exempt organization.

IBW receives funding support from Cummings Engine Foundation and Ford Foundation.

IBW co-hosts Congress of African Peoples, October.

IBW sponsors Black Agenda Conference in Idlewilde, Michigan.

Howard and Jualynne Dodson join IBW staff as graduate student interns from University of California at Berkeley.

Andrew Billingsley’s planned sabbatical at IBW falls through because he is appointed Chancellor/Provost at Howard University.

IBW launches Black World-View, a column of opinions distributed to Black newspapers nationally.

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Robert Hill, Jamaican authority on Marcus Garvey, joins the staff of the Institute of the Black World as a Senior Research Fellow. He is also appointed an adjunct faculty member of the Black Studies Programs at Dartmouth and Michigan State.

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FBI memo of January 5, 1970, advises that “Atlanta has no information from sources that leaders or students at the Institute have participated in any extremist activity.” Nor have any sources “reported any stockpiling of arms or explosives at the Institute ….”

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October 30: Atlanta FBI issued a report under the heading “Institute of the Black World Racial Matter,” that is based on the September 29, 1970 edition of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution that, as of September 1, IBW and King Center have split because of differences in philosophy.

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Atlanta office of FBI reports on May 11, 1970, that Mrs. King and other members of the King Center Board were very displeased that Stokely Carmichael had been brought to Atlanta under IBW’s auspices without Mrs. King’s or the Board’s knowledge.

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FBI Atlanta reports on June 22, 1970, that Howard Fuller, head of Malcolm X University in Durham, and Vincent Harding had been conferring with students from AU Center schools for the purpose of drawing up a list of demands to be made on all Southern Black Colleges at the start of the school term in September. Students are reportedly part of the Student Organization for Black Unity (SOBU) on the different campuses.