The Black Cultural Center provides students with beneficial programs and an
environment in which they can both learn and socialize.

"The Black Cultural Center was established in response to our black student
population so they would have a place to come together to socialize and
celebrate their heritage," said Jane Redmond, assistant vice chancellor of
student affairs. "The center has grown tremendously over the years."

Dennie Littlejohn, manager of Space and Facilities Management, was the
first director of the center when it opened on Aug. 1, 1975.

"Our goal back then was to organize students to show their talent,"
Littlejohn said. "We were able to organize our own dance troop, called the
Ebony Love Dancers, and a repertoire company. And we were able to organize
some kind of organization in most every college on campus."

One of these organizations was the Association of Black Communicators in
the College of Communications.

"We used to have an outreach program so students could spend their summers
in housing projects cleaning up and finding out what's going on there,"
said Littlejohn, who is no longer involved with the center.

Today the cultural center is the home of the Office of Minority Affairs.
This office is responsible for the Black Cultural Programming Committee,
which develops programs and activities to enhance the awareness of black
culture on campus. It also oversees the Academic Assistance Unit which
offers a free tutoring program in various areas of study that is open to
all students.

Students can borrow textbooks through the center's Book Loan Program. These
books can be used by the students for the entire semester. The only
requirement is that the books are returned at the end of the semester.

The Black Cultural Center also contains a library that houses
course-related materials, magazines and books pertaining to various aspects
of black culture. There is a gallery that contains art exhibits featuring
black artists, thematic exhibits and various aspects of black history.

UT's African-American Hall of Fame is also featured in this building.
Pictures of blacks that made significant impacts or contributions to the
university are displayed in this room.

The cultural center is open for a 48-hour period during final exams to
provide students with a quiet environment in which to study. Students are
encouraged to reserve the rooms to guarantee uninterrupted study.

"Students can get involved in the center simply by signing up during the
membership period," Redmond said.

If anyone has any questions about the Black Cultural Center or any of its
programs, contact its office at 974-6861.