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The Black community at Kent State, including the emerging Institute for African American Affairs, the Human Relations Center, and student organizations such as BUS, operated a number of educational programs and services beyond those offered as part of the typical university curriculum up to that time. Some of these programs were similar in spirit to those led by other social and political organizations such as the Black Panther Party and were aimed at African American community survival. At Kent State, Black students, faculty, and staff created and participated in numerous teaching and learning programs to supplement what had been offered by the institution to date. Some of these programs were held at the Kuumba House, which partially functioned as a Black cultural center. Programming included lectures, educational conferences, workshops, institutes, and youth tutoring and meal outreach programs. Some of this outreach focused on the Skeels, McElrath Park, and Blackhorse communities bordering nearby Ravenna, Ohio. These areas suffered from severe economic deprivation, lacking basic infrastructure such as sound plumbing and waste management systems, among other injustices. The Tolliver archive documents a number of examples of such educational engagement.
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