University of Florida Opens a New Home for Its Institute of Black Culture

Recently, the University of Florida held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new home of the Institute of Black Culture on campus. In 1971, the Institute of Black Culture was established after a series of peaceful protests from Black students advocating for their rights ended with 66 students arrested or suspended for occupying the university’s president’s office. After the protests, 123 students withdrew from the University of Florida.

The Institute of Black Culture includes areas for study and meetings, staff offices, event space, a lounge area and living room with a balcony looking out to University Avenue. The interior design reinforces themes in color and pattern important to the students, alumni, and staff by balancing bold moments in the finish selections with a neutral background that allows them to uniquely express their history, culture, and social activism.

The Institute of Black Culture is imbued with ideas from the past, present, and looking toward the future. The central gathering area – known as the Beacon – is the highest point in the structure. It manifests the idea of social and cultural exchange into a two-story space wrapped by a grand stair and façade of glass to celebrate its rich heritage. The cultural expression is continued on the exterior patterning in the masonry along the University Avenue façade. Abstracted from prevalent geometries found in African art and textiles, the triangular shapes represent remembering the past, the present, and looking towards the future. These geometries also shape the room orientation and layout.

 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Higher Education Gifts or Grants of Interest to African Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants or gifts to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

Recent Books of Interest to African American Scholars

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education regularly publishes a list of new books that may be of interest to our readers. The books included are on a wide variety of subjects and present many different points of view.

Online Articles That May Be of Interest to JBHE Readers

Each week, JBHE will provide links to online articles that may be of interest to our readers. Here are this week’s selections.

African Literature and Culture Society Honors Duriel Harris for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry

Dr. Harris has served as a professor of poetry and poetics at Illinois State University for the past 15 years. Her teaching and academic interests include poetry writing, poetics, and African American literature.

Featured Jobs