The Project

Invisible Hawkeyes chronicles black students who attended the University of Iowa. Helping these individuals’ stories to emerge more fully, this website reflects the experiences that defined African American presence at a white, public Midwestern university.

Black cohorts at the UI often existed on the margins of the community; nevertheless, their centrality to the institution’s reputation proved telling. By exploring this paradox, this project links the university’s local attempts to create a thriving multiracial environment to ongoing national experiments with a diverse democracy.

Prior black students at the UI carry important secrets about coping in white environments. By letting them share their wisdom, Invisible Hawkeyes honors their journeys, distills their lessons, and spurs the university’s grappling with its whole history. Such efforts clarify the difficult work that precedes sharing destiny.