By Robert Lay, Amanda Montgomery, and Connor Flowers
|Title:||The Black Academy of Arts and Letters Records, 1970-2013|
|Primary Creator:||The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (1978-)|
|Other Creators:||Curtis L. King|
The collection is arranged into seven series.
Series 1: Audio/Visual Materials comprises 118 boxes of VHS, Betamax, Betacam, Umatic, and digital video recordings as well as audio cassettes of TBAAL events. These materials are arranged by season.
Series 2: Administrative Files covers 14.5 boxes of meeting minutes, planning documents for TBAAL's moves, and other materials documenting the day-to-day operation and organizational history of The Black Academy. The files are arranged alphabetically by topic.
Series 3: Support Letters comprise 2.5 boxes of correspondence sent both to The Black Academy of Arts and Letters and to founder Curtis King, personally, encouring and expressing support for TBAAL's activities. These materials were originally stored chronologically in a series of binders. This chronological arrangement has been retained.
Series 4: Photographs contains TBAAL's extensive (49 boxes) photograph collection. This includes photos taken at TBAAL events, headshots and/or other promotional photographs. The original topical arrangement has been retained.
Series 5: Press Files contains newsclippings, announcements, press releases, and TBAAL's newsletter, Pipeline. The files are arranged chronologically in 9 boxes.
Series 6: Production Files comprises 41.9 boxes of promotional and planning material for performances and other events sponsored or hosted by The Black Academy of Arts and Letters. The files are arranged into chronological sub-series for each season; files are alphabetical within the season.
Series 7: Oversize Materials captures large-format manuscripts that were separated from their original context. All such separations have been documented.
|Date Acquired:||11/00/2014. More info below under Accruals.|
Scope and Contents of the Materials
The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) Collection comprises the entire history of the organization, from its beginnings in 1978 at founder Curtis L. King's dining room table to the present. This includes documentation of thirty six seasons of theatrical and concert performances, visual art exhibits, guest lecturers, and community events, as well as the history of the organization, its different locations, and its search for funding from the City of Dallas.
Particular highlights of the collection include its annual tribute to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., entitled Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement, which has featured headliners such as Eartha Kitt, Jennifer Holliday, Erykah Badu, Fantasia, Ruben Studdard, and CeCe Winans. Materials also describe TBAAL's engagement with Dallas K-12 students through its Youth Summer Arts program. The collection also documents other recurring events, such as Jazz at the Muse, Comedy at the Muse, Symphony in Black, and a number of events featuring gospel singers. There are also materials documenting the 1993 retrospective on the March on Washington, entitled I Remember..., musical tributes to Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin, and an evening with Ambassadors from Africa and the Caribbean.
Types of media include posters, flyers, and other promotional items for TBAAL's performances; news clippings documenting TBAAL's activities; architectural plans for its current facility in the Dallas Civic Center; Dallas City Council meeting minutes; press releases, grant applications, and correspondence with supporters and celebrities; photographs of performances, lectures, after-parties, and other events; and an extensive collection of audio/visual recordings of TBAAL productions.
Physical Access Note:
Reading Room or Duplication Requests
Depending on any access restrictions noted above, you may be able to request items be delivered to our reading room, or that we make reproductions for you. Just click on either the or icons in the listings below to be routed to our request form.
|Repository:||University of North Texas Special Collections|
|Accruals:||2014-076. Additional accruals to the collection will be added every two years.|
|Acquisition Source:||Curtis King/The Black Academy of Arts and Letters|
|Appraisal Information:||A team consisting of University of North Texas Special Collections archivists Amanda Montgomery and Robert Lay and TBAAL archivist Ronnika Williams performed an appraisal of the collection February-March 2015. Duplicate materials and sensitive personal and financial information were removed from the collection prior to transfer to UNT.|
|Related Materials:||Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available within the "Black Academy of Arts and Letters Materials" collection in the Portal to Texas History. For more information please see http://texashistory.unt.edu/explore/collections/BLACKA/browse/.|
|Preferred Citation:||The Black Academy of Arts and Letters Records, University of North Texas Special Collections|
The Black Academy of Arts and Letters Collection was processed by a team of archivists consisting of Robert Lay, Amanda Montgomery, and student assistants Connor Flowers, Liz Hatter, Trista Neeley, and Savannah Bruce.
Digitization provided courtesy of the UNT Media Library and Laura Treat. Hosting provided by the Portal to Texas History.
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Box and Folder Listing
Includes news clippings, press releases, and the TBAAL/JBAAL newsletter, Pipeline.