• Sophie Yarin

    Associate Editor, BU Today; Managing Editor Bostonia

    Photo: Headshot of Sophie Yarin. A white woman with wavy brown hair and wearing a black dress and gold necklace, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Sophie Yarin is a BU Today associate editor and Bostonia managing editor. She graduated from Emerson College's journalism program and has experience in digital and print publications as a hybrid writer/editor. A lifelong fan of local art and music, she's constantly on the hunt for stories that shine light on Boston's unique creative communities. She lives in Jamaica Plain with her partner and their cats, Ringo and Xerxes, but she’s usually out getting iced coffee. Profile

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There are 7 comments on Black Alums Celebrate 50th Reunion during Alumni Weekend

  1. This was a fabulous article and a great historical accounting of the genesis of BU’s evolving charge to increase black student enrollment and faculty from the late 1960s onward. As a student during the late 1970s and early ’80s, I know we always followed the guidestones laid out for us by the Umoja generation which preceded us. This new model of BU’s collaboration with generational alumni groups is one I expect we’re likely to mimic, as well. Kudos alumni engagement staff.

  2. Thank you for a fantastic article that teaches us all a little bit about the African-American students who came before us at BU. Recognizing this history (and present) is especially important now when renewed attention is being paid to the forgotten and often intentionally hidden history of black folks in America. I am exceedingly proud to have been a member of UMOJA 1984-87 which brought speakers like Manning Marable to campus and participated in African American student conferences along the eastern seaboard. I would love to see black alums continue to reunite. Much love to those who were in UMOJA, the Black Drama Collective, Innerstrength Gospel Choir, one of the Divine Nine, or simply Black and on campus!

  3. Great article and mad kudos to Linda Baker Keene for her phenomenal leadership. The fellowship and energy this Alumni weekend has been amazing. I’m proud to be a Golden Terrier and part of the BU Black Alumni Class of 1973 Steering Committee. Grateful for the support from BU and a sincere willingness to engage us as Alums. What a great opportunity to reach new heights. Stay tuned.

  4. As a member of the Class of 1970 I look at these pics and think many of these alums are the ones we pounded the pavement for, visiting high schools in our home states during our breaks after we were told BU couldn’t find qualified students. I was all over Long Island visiting hs counselors asking for their help recruiting as were my friends in New Jersey and elsewhere all over the U.S.
    To see where BU is now is pretty amazing. Boston and this country were not welcoming places in the 60’s and 70’s but all of you succeeded in spite of.
    Congratulations to all the Class of 1973 and hope you are enjoying all you worked so hard for ♥️

  5. Good reporting and a special thank you to Linda Keene, Bev Headen Moss, Alva Baker, Sue Brown and Manfred Hayes (who was editor of the UMOJA ’73 Yearbook).

    BTW, the yearbook was dedicated to the memory of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I hope the reporter will do additional research and examine the reasons for the demise of the MLK Afro-American Center. Many of us who attended the reunion did not know why such an important institution was removed from the campus. The Class of ’73 remembers the center with great reverence.

  6. It was very gratifying to read about the Black Alums 50th reunion.
    One of the many Black student protest demands in 1968 included that the University provide a more diverse and inclusive population. Black students should be supported in any way necessary for their success. Many may be first generation college students or come from an environment that did not prepare them for the experience at a large institution with few people of color. I have letters from Admissions Director Donald Oliver and President Arland Chris-Janer thanking me and our small committee of undergraduate students for our work during the summer of 1968. Our committee reviewed the applications of Black students who had not been accepted for the class entering in 1969. We provided the admissions office with applicants we felt deserved a second look in an effort to increase the number of incoming Black students. We provided a blue print for the way admissions could considered applications of students of color.
    We were never told how many students were accepted in this second look.
    We were happy that the Umoja center was created to support Black students.
    I hope that this alumni group will continue the work to ensure opportunities and support for the success of current and future students at Boston University.

  7. This was such a fantastic article to read! As a current black freshman, it is nice to see how Boston University has evolved over the years in relation to making black students and alumni feel more welcome. In my First-Year Writing Seminar, throughout the semester we have been learning about how black artists of the Harlem Renaissance in New York and the Negritude Movement in Paris used their artistry to speak out, bring awareness, and try to change social issues during that time. So in reading this article, I can see similar connections in which just like Negritude Movement founder Leopald Senghor organized a festival to showcase the work of black artists, musicians, and writers, in some way so did Linda Keene, in her efforts to showcase black pride through her class’ 50th reunion. I can’t wait to see what is next for black Boston University students through the next 3 years.

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