This year, Duke commemorates the 50th anniversary of racial integration at the university, when in 1963 five African American students matriculated into the undergraduate program. Also in 1963, Pepsi sponsored the production of a record album, “Adventures in Negro History,” recently acquired by the John W. Hartman Center as part of the Douglass Alligood Papers. Alligood was one of the first black executives in the advertising industry, and is currently a Senior Vice President at BBDO agency. Long a champion for minority inclusion in the advertising business, Alligood chairs the BBDO’s Diversity Council, which advises management on diversity policies. He has also worked at RCA and for the minority-owned agency UniWorld Group. The record album contains dramatic readings by Detroit-based actors, including Jerry Blocker, Burniece Avery and Jiam Desjardins, which depicts the contributions of people of color to American history. Included are both the famous (Crispus Attucks, Phyllis Wheatley, Ralphe Bunche) and lesser known figures: Christopher Columbus’s pilot, Pedro Nino; Revolutionary War hero Salem Poor; and philanthropist Paul Cuffe.
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