A Pick of the Week from

University Archives of the UM Libraries

By Marcia V. Tyrrell Heath

The Malaika Handbooks were aimed primarily at the University of Miami’s black student population, which was experiencing rapid growth in the 1970s and 1980s. The primary purpose of them was to offer resources to help black students acclimate to the university environment and connect with other black students to share in enriching cultural and educational experiences. The word Malaika itself means “togetherness” in Swahili and was chosen as an overall theme for these publications, which present an array of different clubs and organizations that students could join as well as programs and contacts within the university that could provide aid. A call for activism is also prevalent in these pages, inviting the students to “take advantage of the international atmosphere the University offers,” and to “commit yourself to the deed of promoting, cultivating, and preserving actions, virtues, and traditions which enhance the quality of the black infrastructure.” The covers of each handbook also feature eye-catching images, either paintings or photographs, that are culturally significant and help convey a message of community.

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COOLCRAZYBEAUTIFUL is written by Yvette Yurubi and showcases unique items at Special Collections and the University Archives discovered by librarians and staff members while on the job. They gather monthly for “Show and Tell” to present their top finds. You too can experience these items up close, and access other rare and interesting treasures, by visiting Special Collections and the University Archives, located on the 8th floor of the Otto G. Richter Library.