The Meek-Eaton Black Archives (MEBA) is now hosting a new event called “Friday Nights at MEBA.” The event is a networking social held the Friday before every Florida A&M University home football games.
MeShun Vann, the communications and development coordinator at MEBA says it’s all about coming together in support of black history.
“We’re trying to get the comradery of the students, faculty and alumni and just people in the community to actually come to MEBA,” Vann said. “We just want people to socialize, see what MEBA’s about, the exhibits that we have in our gallery, and just get a feel of community around football season.”
The Meek-Eaton Black Archives was founded in 1976 by FAMU history professor James N. Eaton. It was originally only housed in FAMU’s historic Carnegie Library, but was later expanded thanks to former U.S. Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek (D-Florida), whose efforts secured funds for the new building expansion.
Although the funding helped kick-start a new era for MEBA, it is outside donations that keep the museum up and running.
For many students, past and present alike, the Black Archives adds to the FAMU historic pride.
Calvin Hayes, U.S. diplomat and FAMU alumnus, expressed that the black archives is rich in history.
“The FAMU Black Archives is a treasure chest of history and rich heritage,” Hayes said. “Many days I spent time studying in its many corridors just to get the needed inspiration to complete my countless research papers.”
It is this spirit of pride that Vann and other MEBA administrators hope to share through Friday Nights at MEBA. The goal is to spread awareness in order to increase funding and help revamp foundation groups like “Friends of the Black Archives.”
Friday Nights at MEBA is an event that is apart of a greater rebranding initiative by the museum.
“We want to engage digitally,” Vann said. “We’re trying to get some of the archives online and we’re trying to get things like virtual tours.”
Digitalization is one of the organization’s main goals they hope will bring awareness to MEBA.
FAMU alumna Nancy Cortijo-Simmones, attending Friday Nights at MEBA only fuels her love and appreciation for the university.
“What I really appreciated about it was that it just brought back a lot of nostalgia with being in a place with so much history,” Cortijo-Simmones said.
In a time when many black issues are at the forefront of social topics, Cortijo-Simmones added, she hopes students and alumni “unite together to unite and encourage each other. “
Due to the Homecoming Week festivities, the next “Friday Night at MEBA” will be held on Wednesday October 14th at the Meek-Eaton Black Archives.