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Kake Walk at UVM

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Collection Overview

The Kake Walk at UVM collection documents a former University of Vermont event that is for some a hallowed tradition and for others overt racism. The terminated competition, which was the highlight of the campus social calendar for over eighty years, featured fraternity brothers in blackface and kinky wigs dancing to the tune of "Cotton Babes."

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Time Period Covered: 1896 - 2004 

Source Document: University Archives, Record Group 53: Fraternities and Sororities, Series: Kake Walk 

Published:  May 29, 2010,  University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Center for Digital Initiatives

Rights:  http://cdi.uvm.edu/about/rights


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Title:   Statements by the Kake Walk Directors and President Rowell

Creator:  University of Vermont; Rowell, Lyman S.

Date:  1969-10-31

Resource type:   announcements

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    Title:   Suggestions for Future Father-Son-Mother-Daughter Dinners

    Creator:  University of Vermont

    Date:  1941

    Resource type:   reports

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      Title:   Sunrise Hop

      Creator:  University of Vermont

      Date:  1925

      Resource type:   reports

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        Title:   Supplied Burlington Chamber of Commerce

        Creator:  University of Vermont

        Date:  1955-11-29

        Resource type:   announcements

        This document mentions "Wide, Wide World," a Sunday afternoon television program (aired 1956 - 1958) which broadcast events in North America, Europe, and the Caribbean.

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          Title:   The History of Racism at UVM: The Vermont Paradox

          Creator:  McCrorey, H. Lawrence

          Date:  2004-02-19

          Larry McCrorey, professor emeritus of molecular physiology and biophysics and former dean of the School of Allied Health, was among the most vocal opponents of Kake Walk. He delivered this speech, “The History of Racism at UVM: the Vermont Paradox,” on Feb. 19 at 4 p.m. in the McCrorey Gallery of Multicultural Art at the University of Vermont's Bailey/Howe Library.

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            Title:   The Responsibilities of the Assistant Publicity Director of Kake Walk

            Creator:  University of Vermont

            Date:  1969

            Resource type:   reports

            Gives instructions and advice to the next Assistant Director. Includes a list of advertisers and official rules.

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              Title:   The University of Vermont Alumni Magazine

              Creator:  University of Vermont

              Date:  1959-01

              Resource type:   serials (publications)

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                Title:   The Vermont Alumni News

                Creator:  University of Vermont

                Date:  1949-04

                Resource type:   serials (publications)

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                  Title:   The Vermont Cynic

                  Creator:  University of Vermont

                  Date:  1923-02-24

                  Resource type:   newspapers

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                    Title:   The Vermont Cynic

                    Creator:  University of Vermont

                    Date:  1929

                    Resource type:   newspapers

                    Pages 3-6 missing

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                      Title:   The Vermont Cynic

                      Creator:  University of Vermont

                      Date:  1944-03-17

                      Resource type:   newspapers

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                        Title:   The Vermont Cynic

                        Creator:  University of Vermont

                        Date:  1948-02-20

                        Resource type:   newspapers

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                          Title:   The Vermont Cynic

                          Creator:  University of Vermont

                          Date:  1951-03-01

                          Resource type:   newspapers

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                            Title:   The Vermont Cynic

                            Creator:  University of Vermont

                            Date:  1954-02-19

                            Resource type:   newspapers

                            Includes a front page editorial calling for the end of blackface.

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                              Title:   The Vermont Cynic

                              Creator:  University of Vermont

                              Date:  1956-02-17

                              Resource type:   newspapers

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                                Title:   The Vermont Cynic

                                Creator:  University of Vermont

                                Date:  1958-02-22

                                Resource type:   newspapers

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                                  Title:   The Vermont Cynic

                                  Creator:  University of Vermont

                                  Date:  1964-02-21

                                  Resource type:   newspapers

                                  This issue explores blackface, which had been recently banned, and documents the history of early opposition to Kake Walk.

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                                    Title:   The Vermont Cynic

                                    Creator:  University of Vermont

                                    Date:  1965-02-26

                                    Resource type:   newspapers

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                                      Title:   The Vermont Cynic

                                      Creator:  University of Vermont

                                      Date:  1968-02-14

                                      Resource type:   newspapers

                                      Includes editorials criticizing Pops Night.

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                                        Title:   The Vermont Cynic

                                        Creator:  University of Vermont

                                        Date:  1969-02-14

                                        Resource type:   newspapers

                                        Includes and announcement about a Black Literature course to be taught in the English department.

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                                          Title:   The Vermont Cynic

                                          Creator:  University of Vermont

                                          Date:  1969-10-31

                                          Resource type:   newspapers

                                          Includes the results of the student opinion poll on Kake Walk and announces the decision to replace Kake Walk with a film festival.

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                                            Title:   To Parents and Alumni

                                            Creator:  University of Vermont

                                            Date:  1943

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

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                                              Title:   Walking and Royalty Campaign

                                              Creator:  University of Vermont

                                              Date:  1964

                                              Resource type:   reports

                                              Includes rules, scorecards, maps, and costume information.

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                                                Title:   Winter Music and Film Festival Program

                                                Creator:  University of Vermont

                                                Date:  1970

                                                Resource type:   programs (documents)

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                                                  Title:   With Kake In Hand

                                                  Creator:  University of Vermont

                                                  Date:  2004-02-24

                                                  Resource type:   newspapers

                                                  Nicholas Rahaim's article in the The Cynic discusses racism and Kake Walk.

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