Johnny Taylor Family UTrailblazers Experience

Three and a half decades after it opened, the University of Miami admitted its first Black students in 1961. That inaugural class of 40, along with other Black students who enrolled in the following years, broke through long-standing color barriers, fought for academic and institutional changes, and in doing so, paved the way for future generations.

Now, with a significant gift from Johnny C. Taylor, alumnus and member of the University of Miami Board of Trustees, the Johnny Taylor Family UTrailblazers Experience will pay tribute to those Black students, living and deceased, who graduated from the University during the 1960s and 1970s—as well as spotlight the contributions of present and future Black students.

The outdoor installation on the Coral Gables Campus will feature interactive touch screens displaying content created and curated by the University Archives. It will highlight the past, current, and expected accomplishments of University of Miami Black students who are trailblazers in their own right, continuously working to build a more diverse and inclusive campus for all.

The Johnny Taylor Family UTrailblazers Experience is the result of an initiative established by the Black Alumni Society in 2012 when several members began to unearth stories and struggles of the first Black students, which, until that time, had been stored deep within the archives of the University Libraries.

If interested in learning more, sharing your UTrailblazer story, or volunteering with the University of Miami Black Alumni Society, please contact Darcell Streeter at (305) 284-2206 or email

Useful Resources

• Directory of First Black Graduates 1960s and 1970s
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