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Barry D. Amis papers

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-10.3.500

Content Description

The collection contains flyers, notes, correspondence, and newspaper clippings related to the creation of the Black Student Alliance and its early history from 1967 to 1969. Included are newspaper clipping editorials that Amis wrote while a student. Also included are blank forms, hate mail, and a factsheet about the Orangeburg Massacre. The collection can be viewed online at and


  • Creation: 1967-1970, undated


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical / Historical

Before coming to Michigan State University (MSU), Barry D. Amis attended Pennsylvania State University, University of Pennsylvania, and Middlebury College. Amis began studies for his doctorate degree at MSU in 1966. In the basement of Professor Robert L. Green’s home in 1967, Amis helped found the Black Student Alliance (BSA) and served as its first president.

The day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, Amis and other members of the BSA organized a protest. They wrote a list of grievances with the intent to make the history, culture, and participation of African Americans more integrated on campus. The next day, Amis and Green led a march of almost 2,000 students and delivered the list of grievances to university administration and met with MSU President John Hannah.

After the march, Amis was invited to speak in classes and continued to lead protests with the BSA. He also participated in campus-sponsored forums and wrote several editorials for the State News newspaper. Due to his experience, Amis became an assistant professor of English and romance languages in 1969. While finishing his doctorate degree in Spanish, Amis taught Spanish and Contemporary African American Literature, a course he developed.

Amis resigned from MSU in 1973 and traveled the world as a Fulbright professor teaching in multiple countries and universities. He returned to the States and taught at Purdue University and worked at other associations.

Today, Amis is retired and writes poetry.

(Sourced from “Alumnus reflects on legacy as student activist and a Black Student Alliance founder” by Kim Popiolek, College of Arts and Letters News, February 1, 2022.)


0.25 Cubic Feet (7 folders)

Language of Materials


Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Processing Information

The documents arrived in a binder but were removed for preservation purposes and were kept in the original order. For the larger papers, photocopies were made and included. Please view the photocopy version instead of pulling out the original from the plastic sleeve.

Barry D. Amis Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
Jennie Rankin
November 9, 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US