Divas from the Past

Here for this Omeka project we have decided to direct our focus towards the styles of black women of the two AUC HBCU’s of the illustrious Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University.  Two out of our three members already attend Spelman college, and I myself continue to take classes there as a Morehouse student.  Before the global pandemic we all found ourselves in, we were all prominent community members present in the AUC.  Attending classes regularly, socializing, loitering, taking trips to parties, and overall living the college experience to the best of our own individual abilities.  It became a safe haven and almost a second home not just to us, but those who attended.   And being in the 21st Century, lots of slangs, fashions and clothes that were once present within the 1980’s and so forth looked drastically different.  There were no phones continuously at pocket or hip (if there were, it was seldom to come) no online classes to speak of as the internet was still becoming brand new and fresh, and especially the concept of traveling with one’s personal computer was out of the ordinary and most certainly out of the question.  Though, with these nostalgic perspectives in mind, we have chosen to take a look back and examine, what life was like for black women of the AUC that attended both colleges.  At a crutch for time, rather than examining their life on campus as a whole, we decided to zoom in and see what we could examine and interpret from their dress.  In our more progressive era, gender roles have been questioned and thereby reformed as we progressed through time, but back then it wasn’t as flexible in comparison to today’s standards.  No, “Divas from the Past'' seeks to zoom into three particular years within the 1980’s to see what we could excavate in forms of photography from yearbooks, club pictures, and regular life shots in hopes to see what the dresses and clothing of the past said about Spelman and Clark student’s day to day.  Please enjoy.


Janiya Douglas, Zoe Joyner, Waladi Ali