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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:   Black Image in White Vermont: The Origin, Meaning, and Abolition of Kake Walk

Creator:  Loewen, James W.

Date:  1991

Resource type:   chapters (layout features)

At the time of this digital collection launch, this chapter is the only known scholarly piece on UVM's Kake Walk. James Loewen was a professor of sociology at the University of Vermont. This chapter was published in a book commemorating the university's bicentennial: Loewen, James. "Black Image in White Vermont: The Origin, Meaning, and Abolition of Kake Walk." The University of Vermont: The First Two Hundred Years. Sr. ed. Robert V. Daniels. Hanover, NH / University of Vermont : Distributed by University Press of New England / University of Vermont, 1991.

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    Title:   Greek and Panhellenic Vote Opposing Kake Walk Revival

    Creator:  University of Vermont

    Date:  1977-02-24

    Resource type:   correspondence

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      Title:   President's Explanation of the Discontinuation of Kake Walk

      Creator:  Rowell, Lyman S.

      Date:  1969-11-17

      Resource type:   correspondence

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        Title:   Response to Discontinuation of Kake Walk

        Creator:  University of Vermont

        Date:  1969-11-05

        Resource type:   correspondence

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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:   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 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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