In the raving 1968, a young interracial couple of New York City College professors, Camille Billops and James Hatch, sharing common love for literature and art, started collecting rare printed editions which could assist them in teaching. Later, in mid-seventies, the two of them established an archive dedicated to African American culture. Having grown over the years, this archive now encompasses an immense amount of books, photographs, periodicals, scripts of plays, posters, oral history tapes and interviews with over a thousand of significant figures of Black America. Together with their scientific, artistic and social activity, this puts them among the most prominent stewards of Black American heritage.
Recently, Camille Billops (an academic, documentarian, ceramicist, printmaker) and James V. Hatch (an emeritus professor of English and theater) have made a decision to donate their priceless collection together with their personal papers to the Emory University as the best institution to take care of this treasury. The prominent couple that used to “raise hell” in order to awaken public consciousness is now sharing the background of their vision as a gift to the nation. To celebrate the donation, part of the archive will be on exhibit.