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Stanford Libraries receives major Black music collection, supporting new department and expanding possibilities for research

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The Dijkstra Black Music Collection includes over 8,000 vinyl discs spanning the history of Jazz, Blues, Reggae, and R&B

STANFORD, Calif. /PRNewswire/ — Bram Dijkstra, professor emeritus at UC San Diego, and renowned literary agent Sandra Dijkstra have donated their music collection, nearly 65 years in the making, of irreplaceable recordings of jazz, Jamaican music, blues, soul, and other genres.

Bram Dijkstra standing in front of a portion of his collection prior to it being shipped to Stanford Libraries, where it will be permanently housed as part of its Archive of Recorded Sound at the Music Library. Photo by Sandy Dijkstra.

Stanford Libraries has accepted the generous donation of the Dijkstra Black Music Collection, a selection of approximately 8,000 commercial vinyl discs in near mint condition. “The collection is remarkable in its scope, depth, and curatorial vision,” said Michael A. Keller, the Ida M. Green University Librarian at Stanford.

About half of the discs in the Dijkstra collection document the work of essential twentieth-century jazz artists, creating a core jazz library that according to Keller “complements and dramatically enriches Stanford’s existing holdings, including the Monterey Jazz Festival Collection and the Riverwalk Jazz Collection.” The unparalleled corpus of Jamaican popular music, which includes representation of instrumentalists, vocalists, and DJs, establishes a new research strength for Stanford.

Once the collection is catalogued and available for use, Stanford will follow audio preservation best practices to protect the integrity of the discs and will provide digital listening access to students, faculty, and researchers while welcoming them to examine the physical discs, sleeves, and liner notes by appointment at Stanford’s Archive of Recorded Sound (ARS).

“The ARS was founded in 1958 to preserve sound recordings as a core part of our cultural heritage,” said Tamar Barzel, head music librarian at Stanford. “The Dijkstra Black Music Collection will have a meaningful and profound effect on ARS collections, which have historically been strongest in early jazz, classical music, and opera.”

Bram Dijkstra’s diligence and passion for documenting the full sweep of jazz history and Jamaican popular music has been a lifelong pursuit. Dijkstra, who was born on a small Indonesian island and raised in Holland, traces its inception to a transformative experience listening to a new record by the New Miles Davis Quintet in 1955. “I admired Miles Davis’ clear, coherent trumpet, but I was shocked into incredulous admiration by the hoarse, abrasive, yet melodious solos of the young tenor saxophone player Miles was featuring here for the first time, someone with the rather strange name of John Coltrane,” said Dijkstra. He recalled that Coltrane’s playing, “rough-toned and oddly jagged, daringly dancing on the edge of failure, but driven by an inner rhythm that steadied every part,” seemed to express what he was feeling – it “made almost physically tangible the music that was in my soul.”

That initial impression endured, inspiring a relocation to the United States, an immersion in African American music, and a commitment to creative work. John Coltrane, he wrote, “taught me to listen to Black music in all its many forms: Coltrane called me to America. He taught me that to be creative is to always search for what is better—and that searching for anything likely to make us better is never neat.”

Original and early pressings in the collection represent the best extant examples for many of Coltrane’s recordings. Rare individual discs, including Bob Marley’s original 12-inch 45rpm single of “Buffalo Soldiers,” Sun Ra’s original Saturn issues with blank or hand-made covers, and early hip hop LPs, are also rich in research potential.

“Recordings are essential primary sources for contemporary music scholarship,” remarked Professor Stephen Hinton, chair of Stanford’s Music Department. “As we expand our programmatic offerings in the areas of jazz studies, popular music, and ethnomusicology, the Dijkstra Black Music Collection will be an indispensable resource for research and teaching.”

Deep runs and other exceptional rarities are found within the Dijkstra Black Music Collection, including a full run of the Blue Note 1500 series of the late 1950s; virtually all John Coltrane commercial releases; a strong representation of avant-garde artists on small label releases from the U.S., Europe, and Japan; and a significant complement of artists’ private-issue and limited-edition releases. The collection’s appraised valuation exceeding $2.3 million reflects the many one-of-a-kind and extremely rare items, which are both of immense worth in the collectors’ market and priceless in their cultural heritage and research value.

The donated collection arrives at a fortuitous moment in Stanford’s history in tandem with the formation of the new African and African American Studies Department. Professor Ato Quayson, chair of the English Department, also chairs the Framework Task Force subcommittee focused on the departmentalization of African and African American Studies. “The Dijkstra Black Music Collection will instigate whole new research agendas in different areas of Black music studies,” said Quayson. “It will be a boon to the Stanford community, and indeed to anyone beyond who wants to take jazz, popular music, and ethnomusicology seriously.”

An event celebrating the collection is scheduled for February 13, 2023 from 5:30 p.m. at the Cecil H. Green Library on Stanford’s historic campus. The event is free and registration is requested. The collection will remain unavailable while it is being processed; inquiries about the collection can be submitted to the Archive of Recorded Sound at Stanford Libraries.

SOURCE Stanford Libraries

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Black History

The Legacy of Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr.: A Trailblazer in Invention, Business, and Community Leadership

Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr.: Inventor, businessman, and community leader whose legacy continues to inspire generations with his groundbreaking contributions.

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Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr., a prominent figure in American history, left an indelible mark through his remarkable contributions as an inventor, businessman, and community leader. Born on March 4, 1877, Morgan’s legacy continues to inspire generations.


One of Morgan’s most renowned inventions was the three-way traffic light, a pivotal innovation that revolutionized road safety and traffic management. Additionally, his creation of the protective ‘smoke hood’ proved instrumental during the 1916 tunnel construction disaster rescue, saving numerous lives and highlighting his commitment to public safety.

Beyond his inventions, Morgan ventured into the realm of haircare, developing a groundbreaking chemical hair-processing solution that led to the establishment of the successful “G. A. Morgan Hair Refining Company.” His entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to innovation paved the way for a complete line of haircare products.

Morgan’s influence extended beyond the business world; he actively engaged in the civic and political advancement of African Americans, particularly in Cleveland, Ohio, and surrounding areas. His efforts exemplified a commitment to fostering positive change and empowerment within his community.

In recognition of his significant contributions, several institutions and landmarks bear Morgan’s name, honoring his legacy. From the Garrett A. Morgan Cleveland School of Science to the Garrett A. Morgan Water Treatment Plant, his impact is immortalized in various locations across the United States.

Notably, Morgan’s legacy was nationally recognized at the Emancipation Centennial Celebration in Chicago in August 1963, underscoring his enduring influence and importance in American history. His inclusion in the book “100 Greatest African Americans” by Molefi Kete Asante further solidifies his place among the most influential figures in African American history.

Morgan’s inventions continue to captivate audiences, with his safety hood featured on popular television shows like “Inventions that Shook the World” and “Mysteries at the Museum,” showcasing the lasting impact of his innovations on society.

As an honorary member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Morgan’s dedication to excellence and service continues to inspire individuals to strive for greatness and make a positive difference in their communities.

The remarkable life and achievements of Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr. serve as a testament to the power of innovation, entrepreneurship, and advocacy, leaving a lasting legacy that resonates with generations past, present, and future.

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  • Rod Washington

    Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

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Black History

The Alabama National Guard Celebrates Arrival of F-35A Jets and Honors Tuskegee Airmen Legacy

Alabama National Guard celebrates F-35A arrival, honoring Tuskegee Airmen, marking a pivotal shift in military readiness and legacy continuation.

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The Alabama National Guard recently showcased the world’s most advanced combat aircraft, the F-35A Lighting II stealth fighter jets, in a ceremony and flight show in Montgomery. This celebration not only highlighted the Guard’s vital role in national military readiness but also paid homage to the legendary Tuskegee Airmen.

“Alabama National Guard Unveils F-35A Jets: Honoring Tuskegee Airmen Legacy”

In 2017, the Air Force selected Alabama’s 187th Fighter Wing as the F-35A’s home base, solidifying this decision after thorough planning and environmental analysis in 2020. The arrival of the first three F-35 jets in December marked a significant milestone for the unit, which is set to replace the F-16s with these fifth-generation aircraft.

During the ceremony, Col. Brian Vaughn emphasized the unit’s readiness to carry forward the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, drawing inspiration from their dedication and sacrifice. The event was graced by Governor Kay Ivey and other officials, underscoring the importance of this transition to the F-35s.

Lt. Col. Richard Peace, a seasoned member of the Alabama Air National Guard, highlighted the game-changing technology of the F-35, emphasizing its superiority in combat scenarios. The aircraft’s advanced capabilities, including long-range threat detection and stealth features, signify a significant advancement in aerial warfare.

The road to acquiring the F-35s was a collaborative effort involving military leaders, congressional delegations, local officials, and private citizens. Col. Casey Hall reiterated the lasting impact of this program on the Alabama Air National Guard, emphasizing its longevity and relevance in modern warfare.

With plans to receive a total of 20 F-35s over the next five years, the 187th Fighter Wing is gearing up for full operational capability by 2026. This transition not only secures military and civilian jobs but also cements the unit’s legacy as a continuation of the Tuskegee Airmen’s fighter squadron.

The arrival of the F-35s represents a significant milestone for the Alabama National Guard, positioning them as a key player in global operations and underscoring their commitment to excellence and innovation in military aviation. The legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen lives on through the 187th Fighter Wing, ensuring that their spirit of bravery and service endures for generations to come.

https://www.al.com/news/2024/02/alabama-air-national-guards-red-tails-wing-show-off-new-fighter-jets.html

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  • Rod Washington

    Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

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Black History

Honoring Black Poets: Celebrating Black Poetry Day

Celebrate Black Poetry Day on October 17th, honoring the voices of black poets and their profound impact on literature. #BlackPoetryDay

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Black Poetry Day is a significant occasion that takes place on October 17th each year. This special day pays homage to the rich legacy of black poets, both past and present, while commemorating the birth of Jupiter Hammon, the first published black poet in the United States.


Born on October 17th, 1711, in Long Island, New York, Hammon paved the way for generations of black poets to come. Black Poetry Day serves as a platform to honor his contribution and the contributions of countless other black poets who have used their words to inspire, educate, and promote social change.

This day holds immense cultural and historical importance, emphasizing the value of black heritage and literacy. By recognizing the literary achievements of black poets, we acknowledge their unique perspectives, experiences, and voices. It is an opportunity to appreciate the power of poetry as a tool for expression, connection, and empowerment.

On Black Poetry Day, let us immerse ourselves in the works of black poets, explore their narratives, and celebrate their profound impact on literature and society. It is a day to honor the past, embrace the present, and inspire future generations to continue the rich tradition of black poetry. #BlackPoetryDay

https://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-day/black-poetry-day-october-17

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  • Rod Washington

    Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

    View all posts

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