Afro-American Plus: MSU's First Black Student Organization

In May of 1968, three short years after Starkville native Richard Holmes integrated Mississippi State University, a group of African American students at Mississippi State University founded MSU’s first Black student organization, Afro-American Plus. The group’s goals as laid out in their constitution were “to become better recognized as students of Mississippi State University,” “to promote peaceful coexistence with other students,” and “to educate all about Black culture and instill Black pride.” While the students were careful to work within the regulations of the university, they were not afraid to push boundaries, inviting speakers like Fannie Lou Hamer and Stokely Carmichael to speak on campus, and creating politically provocative Black history displays. The group’s goal was to create community on a majority white campus and to improve the lives of Black students on campus. This exhibit highlights Afro-American Plus' early years and the work they did, through social events, activism, and pushing MSU administration on issues like recruitment of Black students and professors. 

Credits

This exhibit was curated by University Archivist Jessica Perkins Smith.