Lafayette (Lafe) Edward Tolliver was a Kent State University student photojournalist during a remarkable time in the history of the University and the United States. He documented campus life, particularly Black student life, from 1967-1971, graduating from Kent State with a Bachelor of Science degree in photojournalism.
His photographs of the Black campus community provide us with beautiful images of students learning, engaging with speakers and performers, hanging out and having fun, demonstrating to fight for their rights and beliefs, and enjoying the fellowship of Greek life, among many other things. Tolliver was also an eyewitness to and documentarian of major campus events including the mass Black Student Walkout of November 1968 and the Kent State shootings of 1970. He testified about his May 4 experiences to the Commission on KSU Violence, offering his account of the events during the weekend before and the day of the shootings.
Tolliver served as a photographer and columnist for the Chestnut Burr yearbook and the Daily Kent Stater campus newspaper and also contributed to Black Watch. Tolliver wrote editorials on issues he cared about in a Stater column titled "Basic Black," a sampling of which is included in this exhibit. After earning a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toledo College of Law, Tolliver became a civil rights attorney in Toledo, Ohio, where he still resides.
This exhibit aims to provide a cross section of works created by Tolliver, to give viewers a sampling of the array of subjects he documented. The goal is to generate interest in further exploration of this amazing body of work that Tolliver has shared with Kent State and the world. The photographs in the Tolliver archive are digitized and available for viewing at: https://bit.ly/3kg23D3
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WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Many of the photographs in this archive are unidentified. Therefore, we cannot provide individual identifications of many of the people appearing in these photographs, despite having done intensive image research. If you have any information or corrections to assist us in identifying people or events in these photographs, please contact Special Collections and Archives, and include a link to the photograph or the four- or five-digit number that appears at the end of the image's link.