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Collection Number: 50000

Collection Title: Sarah M. Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988

This collection has use restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the James E. Shepard Memorial Library at North Carolina Central University. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web.


Portions of this collection have been digitized as part of "Content, Context, and Capacity: A Collaborative Large-Scale Digitization Project on the Long Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina." The project was made possible by funding from the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space
Abstract Organized in December 1973 in Greensboro, N.C., the North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition (NCAFC) sought to strengthen the historically black universities and colleges in North Carolina, broaden African Americans' access to higher education in the state, and eliminate vestiges of the segregated system of public higher education that left predominately African American universities underfunded. NCAFC's membership comprised educators, students, community leaders, and the alumni associations of the five predominately African American universities of the University of North Carolina system (Fayetteville State University, Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Winston-Salem State University, and North Carolina Central University). Sarah M. Bell-Lucas was committee chair of the NCAFC Banquet and Publicity Committee, 1975-1982. The collection contains correspondence, newspaper articles, program bulletins, meeting notes, and other materials of the NCAFC. Correspondence, much of it signed by Sarah M. Bell-Lucas, is chiefly outgoing and includes invitations to advertise NCAFC fundraising banquets and letters related to the University of North Carolina system's struggle during the 1970s and 1980s with the United States Department of Housing, Education, and Welfare (HEW) over compliance with federal desegregation law in institutions of higher education. Correspondents include but are not limited to the Coalition of Black Alumni Groups and Leaders in Education; Peter E. Holmes, director of the Office for Civil Rights at HEW); state government officials; and presidents of alumni associations at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Other collection materials relate to the consent decree, HBCU education, North Carolina state politics, NCAFC's position on locating a veterinary school at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University or North Carolina State University, and African American leadership in North Carolina HBCUs.
Creator Bell-Lucas, Sarah M., 1937-
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No image in this collection may be reproduced without the permission and consent of North Carolina Central University.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Sarah M. Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988, University Archives, Records and History Center in the James E. Shepard Memorial Library, North Carolina Central University.
Acquisitions Information
These materials were transferred to the University Archives from the personal records of Sarah M. Bell-Lucas.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina Central University assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Historical Information

Organized on 15 December 1973 in Greensboro, N.C., the North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition (NCAFC) sought to strengthen the historically black universities and colleges in North Carolina, broaden African Americans' access to higher education in the state, and eliminate vestiges of the segregated system of public higher education that left predominately African American universities underfunded. NCAFC's membership comprised educators, students, community leaders, and the alumni associations of the five predominately African American universities of the University of North Carolina system (Fayetteville State University, Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Winston-Salem State University, and North Carolina Central University).

Shortly after its founding, NCAFC issued "A Statement on Dismantling Higher Education (Black Perspective)," which described discrimination faced by African Americans seeking higher education and the state's neglect of North Carolina's predominately African American public universities. The statement outlined the need for increased development and investment in these universities; significant growth in African American undergraduate enrollment across the state; and the integration of students, faculty, and staff at all University of North Carolina system schools.

The United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) was responsible for enforcing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as it pertained to educational institutions. In February 1970, the University of North Carolina system received notice of non-compliance with Title VI from HEW's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for maintaining a racially identifiable system of public higher education. In response, the UNC system submitted a desegregation plan, "A State Program to Enlarge Educational Opportunity in North Carolina," to OCR in June 1973. The plan called for recruitment of minority students and faculty, remedial programs, expanded financial aid for all students, intercampus cooperation and exchange, and an anti-discrimination policy for admissions and employment. In November 1973, HEW-OCR rejected the plan on the grounds that it lacked specific goals for race diversity and details of how the plan would be executed.

Eight years of draft submissions, revisions, rejections, self-studies, and negotiations followed. In March 1979, HEW announced it would begin proceedings to terminate federal funding to the University of North Carolina system. The university system retained the Washington-based legal firm of noted civil rights attorney Charles Morgan to continue negotiations with HEW and, in April, filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina to challenge HEW's right to terminate federal support. Judge Franklin T. Dupree Jr. ruled that termination of funds could not occur until the outcome of the Administrative Proceeding had been determined. Hearings for the Administrative Proceeding began in July 1980 and continued through July 1981. Throughout the hearings, negotiations for a consent decree continued in secret. The ongoing dispute over program duplication and the mechanism for evaluation hampered the negotiations until Terrell Bell, then secretary of the Department of Education under President Reagan, removed these criteria.

The July 1981 consent decree set enrollment goals rather than quotas (10.6 percent African American enrollment at predominately white universities and 15 percent white enrollment at predominantly African American universities), added graduate and undergraduate program offerings to the predominantly African American universities, and pledged commitment to equitable salaries and racial composition of faculty and staff. In addition, the university system agreed to file annual minority presence reports with the supervising court through 1986.

Sarah M. Bell-Lucas (1937-) was the committee chair of the NCAFC's Banquet and Publicity Committee, 1975-1982. She attended North Carolina Central University (NCCU) where she received a Bachelor of Science in home cconomics in 1959 and a Master of Arts in counselor education in 1974. Bell-Lucas worked for the North Carolina Department of Corrections in Raleigh, N.C., as assistant dietitian and supervisor; the Wake County Public School System as social worker, teacher, and counselor; the Granville County School System in Oxford, N.C., as a high school counselor; and NCCU as an instructor, counselor, recruiter, director of the Center for Academic Enrichment, and director of student academic advising for undergraduates. She retired from NCCU in 2010.

Chronology of the Consent Decree and the Revised North Carolina State Plan for the Further Elimination of Racial Duality in the Public Post-Secondary Education Systems

1968 Jasper Alston Atkins filed a suit against the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Board of Education and the State of North Carolina (Atkins, Pro Se v. State Board of Education of North Carolina). Atkins brought the suit "to require the State of North Carolina and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education to provide a racially integrated unitary school system" (418 F.2d 874: J. Alston Atkins, Pro Se, Appellant, v. State Board of Education of North Carolina (1969)). The Fourth Circuit District Court found Atkins did not have standing.
1969 The U. S. Department of Health Education and Welfare (HEW) began investigating the desegregation progress of ten states including North Carolina that had historically segregated systems of public higher education. HEW investigated compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which stated "no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program receiving federal financial assistance."
February 1970 The UNC System (which at the time included University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, UNC Asheville, UNC Greensboro, UNC Wilmington, and UNC Charlotte) received notice of non-compliance with Title VI. The UNC System was found to be maintaining a racially identifiable system of public higher education.
October 1970 The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. filed suit against HEW and charged the department with negligence in enforcing Title VI (Adams v. Richardson). The plaintiffs sought to impose more rigorous requirements for desegregation of higher education in the ten affected states and to enforce termination of federal funds to those states that failed to submit satisfactory plans for desegregation.
July 1 1972 The UNC System incorporated the last ten state-funded universities, including the predominantly African American institutions of Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Central University, and Winston-Salem State University.
February 1973 Federal judge John H. Pratt found for the plaintiffs in Adams v. Richardson and ordered HEW to begin enforcement proceedings against the affected states within 120 days. On appeal HEW was permitted to solicit desegregation plans before commencing proceedings.
April 13 1973 The Board of Governors of the UNC System adopted the following policy statement as Section 103 of the Code of the University: "Admission to, employment by, and promotion in The University of North Carolina and all of its constituent institutions shall be on the basis of merit, and there shall be no discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, or national origin."
June 1973 The UNC System submitted a desegregation plan entitled A State Program to Enlarge Educational Opportunity in North Carolina. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of HEW rejected the plan because it lacked "specific numerical goals for increasing minority faculty and students at both traditionally white institutions and traditional black institutions" (William Link, William Friday: Power, Purpose, and American Higher Education, Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1995.) A deadline for plan revision was set for April 8, 1974.
May 31 1974 The Revised North Carolina State Plan for the Further Elimination of Racial Duality in Public Higher Education Systems was released.
August 22 1977 The Board of Governors adopted the Revised North Carolina State Plan for the Further Elimination of Racial Duality in Public Higher Education System, Phase II: 1978-1983.
1979 Debate between the UNC System and the OCR focused on the elimination of program duplication at geographically proximate institutions. The University disagreed with OCR that eliminating programs would effect immediate changes in the racial composition of the universities.
March 1979 Due to a breakdown in negotiations between the UNC System and the OCR in 1978 and 1979, HEW announced it would begin proceedings to terminate federal funding. Judge Franklin T. Dupree, Jr., ruled that funds could not be terminated until the outcome of the Administrative Proceeding had been determined.
1980-1981 During the Administrative Proceeding, secret negotiations about a consent decree took place.
July 1981 The resulting consent decree set enrollment goals rather than quotas (10.6 percent black enrollment at traditionally white institutions and 15 percent white enrollment at traditionally black institutions), added graduate and undergraduate program offerings to the TBIs, and pledged commitment to equitable salaries and racial composition of faculty and staff. The university also agreed to file annual minority presence reports with the supervising court through 1986.
1981 The NAACP Legal Defense Fund argued that the 1981 agreement between the University and the Department of Education, approved in the form of a consent decree by U. S. District Judge Franklin T. Dupree, Jr., did not meet applicable legal and regulatory requirements. The North Carolina courts refused to consider their contentions, and the Supreme Court action left standing previous rulings by the U. S. District Court and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which had declined to invalidate the consent decree (University of North Carolina Board of Governors Quarterly. 1984. Volume 7(2), p. 4).
July 1983 An appeal by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit resulted in affirmation of the consent decree and its supervision by the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
February 21 1984 The United States Supreme Court refused to hear the case, ending the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's case against the OCR and the UNC System.
December 31 1986 The consent decree expired.
December 31 1988 The United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina's control over the case expired.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence, newspaper articles, program bulletins, meeting notes, and other materials of the NCAFC. Correspondence, much of it signed by Sarah M. Bell-Lucas, is chiefly outgoing and includes invitations to advertise NCAFC fundraising banquets and letters related to the University of North Carolina System's struggle during the 1970s and 1980s with the United States Department of Housing, Education, and Welfare (HEW) over compliance with federal desegregation law in institutions of higher education. Correspondents include but are not limited to the Coalition of Black Alumni Groups and Leaders in Education; Peter E. Holmes, director of the Office for Civil Rights at HEW); state government officials; and presidents of alumni associations at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Other collection materials relate to the consent decree, HBCU education, North Carolina state politics, NCAFC's position on locating a veterinary school at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University or North Carolina State University, and African American leadership in North Carolina HBCUs.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Sarah Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988.

Folder 1-2

Folder 1

Folder 2

Banquet, 1975 #50000, Series: "Sarah Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988." Folder 1-2

Folder 3

Banquet, 1976-1982 #50000, Series: "Sarah Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988." Folder 3

Folder 4

Coalition materials, 1971-1974 #50000, Series: "Sarah Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988." Folder 4

Folder 5

Coalition materials, 1975-1976 #50000, Series: "Sarah Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988." Folder 5

Folder 6

Coalition materials, 1977-1981 #50000, Series: "Sarah Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988." Folder 6

Folder 7

Correspondence and meetings, 1974-1975 #50000, Series: "Sarah Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988." Folder 7

Folder 8

Correspondence and meetings, 1976-1977 #50000, Series: "Sarah Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988." Folder 8

Folder 9

Correspondence and meetings, 1978-1979 #50000, Series: "Sarah Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988." Folder 9

Folder 10

Correspondence and meetings, 1980-1981 #50000, Series: "Sarah Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988." Folder 10

Folder 11

Correspondence and meetings, 1982, 1985, 1988 #50000, Series: "Sarah Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988." Folder 11

Folder 12

Consent decree, 1979, 1982, 1988 #50000, Series: "Sarah Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988." Folder 12

Folder 13

Duplicates #50000, Series: "Sarah Bell-Lucas Collection of North Carolina Alumni and Friends Coalition Records, 1971-1988." Folder 13

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Processing Information

Processed by: Andre D. Vann.

Finding aid authored by: Shanee Yvette Murrain, 2011

Finding aid encoded in EAD by: Joyce Chapman, 2011.

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