Documents from the history of the Institute of the Black World

The Institute of the Black World (IBW) existed from 1969 to 1983. It set out to, and did, help to shape and institutionalize Black Studies in mainstream higher education. Vincent Harding and an outstanding group of activist-intellectuals led the way. These were primarily HBCU faculty, especially from Morehouse and Spelman.

As one of the founders of IBW, I kept these documents in my personal archives and am pleased to be able to share them now. Much more documentation can be found in the papers of Vincent Harding at Emory University (

Document 6 here contains drafts and comments by members of the group as the organization formed as well as a modern day introduction. These drafts and comments show the dedication and seriousness we all brought to the project. IBW is explained in fuller context in my forthcoming book, The History of Black Studies (Pluto Press, Fall 2021).

Abdul Alkalimat, May 2021 (several documents added June 2021)


  1. Report of an Ad Hoc Planning Committee (November 8, 1967) pdf
  2. Report of an Ad Hoc Planning Committee (December 3, 1967) pdf
  3. Report of Ad Hoc Planning Committee (February 9, 1968) pdf
  4. The Search for Cooperation: Report of an Exploratory Visit to the University of the West Indies (June 4-16, 1968) pdf
  5. Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Center: A Preliminary Prospectus in Five Parts (December 1968) pdf
  6. Founding documents for the Institute of the Black World, 1968-1969 pdf


  1. Statement of Purpose and Program (Fall 1969) pdf
  2. Press Release (March 16, 1975) pdf
  3. About the Institute of the Black World (brochure) pdf
  4. An Approach to Black Studies: Statement of the Planning Staff pdf
  5. Decisions Made in the Advisory Council Meeting (nd) pdf
  6. IBW (brochure, nd) pdf


  1. Summer Workshop in Black Studies: A Preliminary Prospectus (April 1969) pdf
  2. Summer Workshop in Black Studies: Work Areas and coordinators (1969) pdf
  3. KWELI: The Majority Report of the Summer Black Studies Workshop (July - August 1969) pdf
  4. Report on Black Studies Directors Seminar (November 7-9, 1969) pdf
  5. Six Seminars in Black Studies (nd) pdf
  6. Black Studies in the 1980's: The Challenge of Blackness Revisited (October 1, 1981) pdf

Position papers by individuals^

  1. Earl Thorpe, Letters to Vincent Harding (November 21, 1967; November 28, 1967) pdf
  2. Gerald McWorter, Position paper on Black identity, Spelman College, Atlanta (September 1968) pdf
  3. Stephen Henderson and Gerald McWorter, Afro-American humanists fellowship program proposal, Spelman College, Atlanta University Center, Atlanta (Fall 1968) pdf
  4. Vincent Harding, Memo to the IBW Planning Staff: Dates to Remember (April 4, 1969) pdf
  5. Vincent Harding, Letter to Marvin Kelly (May 8, 1969) pdf
  6. Abd-Al Hakimu Ibn Alkalimat, Our collective past, present, and future": Confidential Black Paper to the Staff of the Institute of the Black World, Atlanta (June 25, 1969) pdf
  7. Armstead Robinson, Report on the Condition of Black Studies at Yale (Nov 7-9, 1969) pdf
  8. William Strickland, Politics and Black Liberation (June 16, 1970) pdf
  9. William Strickland, Suppress Your Local Police (June 16, 1970) pdf
  10. Stephen Henderson, Black Art and Culture (July 1970) pdf
  11. Chester Davis, Black Pre-College Education Notes on an Agenda for The 70s (July 1970) pdf
  12. Vincent Harding, Letter to Ken Hicks (January 25, 1971) pdf
  13. Vincent Harding, Towards a Black Agenda for IBW (nd) pdf
  14. James Turner, Black Studies: Cornell (nd) pdf


  1. Notes on the Struggle for Black Higher Education: Black Urban and Ethnic Studies Programs and the Needes of the Black Community (June 1971) pdf
  2. IBW Monthly Report (August 1973) pdf
  3. IBW Monthly Reports (May 1974, November 1974) pdf
  4. IBW Monthly Report (Summer 1974) pdf
  5. IBW Special Report: Inside Missouri State Penitentiary (February 1975) pdf
  6. IBW Special Report: Inside Missouri State Penitentiary Observations of Number 14922 (nd) pdf


  1. Black Studies Curriculum Development Project: Black History - Black Political Economcy agenda (October 1-3, 1981) pdf
  2. Black Studies Curriculum Development Course Evaluation: Conference 1 - History and Political Economy (October 1-3, 1981) pdf
  3. Floyd Hayes, Evaluation of the October IBW Black Studies Curriculum Development Project Conference (October 7, 1981) pdf
  4. Black Studies Curriculum Development Course Evaluation: Conference 2 - Culture and Social Analysis (February 12-14, 1982) pdf
  5. Peoples College, The Curriculum: A Response to the Institute of the Black World (nd) pdf


  1. St. Clair Drake, The Redemption of Africa and Black Religion (1970) pdf
  2. Vincent Harding and Lerone Bennett, IBW and Education for Liberation (1973) pdf
  3. IBW Black-World-View The American State vs Black People, Volume 1 No 5 (nd) pdf
  4. IBW Presents New Concepts for the New Man (Brochure, nd) pdf
  5. IBW Publications (Brochure, nd) pdf


  1. Budget for Planning and Development of the Institute of the Black World (March 1969) pdf
  2. Proposed Budget for the Institute for Afro-American Studies (1969-1970) pdf
  3. Lerone Bennett, White Money (January 20, 1970) pdf
  4. Stanley Smith, Andrew Billingsly, and Vincent Harding, Proposal to Fund A Research Consortium of the Black Experience (November 1970) pdf
  5. Proposal For Funding of The Black Agenda Network (December 18, 1970) pdf
  6. Proposal for the Funding of the Development Office of the IBW (April 1971) pdf