Collection includes writings, speeches, correspondence, photographs, administrative
records, research files, and audio recordings that document Blake's involvement in the
founding of Oakes College at UC Santa Cruz and his research on marginalized students in
higher education and the South Carolina Sea Islands.
John Herman Blake was born in Mount Vernon, New York on March 15, 1934. After serving in
the U.S. Army during the Korean War, J. Herman Blake earned his B.A. degree in sociology
from New York University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of
California at Berkeley. In 1966, Blake was recruited by Founding Chancellor Dean McHenry to
teach sociology at Cowell College at the newly opened University of California, Santa Cruz.
He became the first African American on the University of California Santa Cruz faculty and
remained at UCSC for eighteen years. Dr. Blake is beloved at UCSC, both as a charismatic,
rigorous, and brilliant teacher/mentor and as the visionary leader who founded UCSC's
seventh college, Oakes, and served as its first provost. Oakes College emerged from a larger
history of grassroots education in transformational politics in the United States centered
in the Citizenship School Movement in the Sea Islands of South Carolina and the Highlander
Folk School in Appalachia.
12 Linear Feet
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rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. The publication
or use of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use for research or
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information on copyright or to order a reproduction, please visit the UCSC Special
Collections and Archives website.
Collection is open for research. Audiovisual media is unavailable until reformatted.
Contact Special Collections in advance for information regarding access.