Alternate ROOTS Archives: at Home, at Amistad

ROOTS Week 2019, celebrating the archive’s move to Amistad in true ROOTS fashion: with a dance party. Photo: Melisa Cardona.


We are thrilled to announce that – after many years of searching and even more years of precarious storage – the Alternate ROOTS archive has found an institutional home, at Amistad Research Center in New Orleans.

Throughout the years-long process of finding an archival partner, we knew that we were seeking an institution who was values-aligned, partnership-oriented, and regionally accessible. As an independent non-profit archive housed at Tulane University in New Orleans, with a mission to provide access to original materials referencing the social and cultural importance of America’s ethnic and racial history, the African Diaspora, and civil rights, Amistad will be a strong partner in preserving ROOTS’ history.

The ROOTS archive coves over 40 years of art and activism in the South and includes correspondence, executive committee meeting minutes, memos, policy papers, administrative reports, newsletters, research material, legal and financial records, marketing and publicity materials, clippings, photographs, videotapes, electronic media and artifacts created by ROOTS staff and members. The archive documents the organization and its member’s history, legacy, and contributions to community organizing. From the Civil Rights movement to now, the archives tell the story that is simply not captured anywhere else. Amistad will be working with Alternate ROOTS to process the collection and make it accessible in 2020.

“We are thrilled to have found a home with Amistad and look forward to sharing the archives with our community and the world,” says Michelle Ramos, the executive director of Alternate ROOTS, “and we hope it will inspire future generations of arts activists, committed to continuing the important work of ROOTS.”

And in true ROOTS fashion, at ROOTS Week 2019 we celebrated this momentous announcement via a dance party. Scroll on for photos, all taken by Melisa Cardona.

Alternate ROOTS supports the creation and presentation of original art that is rooted in communities of place, tradition or spirit. We are a group of artists and cultural organizers based in the South creating a better world together. As Alternate ROOTS, we call for social and economic justice and are working to dismantle all forms of oppression—everywhere.