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Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Ra was a publication initially produced and edited by Bryn Mawr student Verneda "Rikki" Lights. Ra, named after the Egyptian sun god, distributed their publication on a subscription basis. The magazine cost one dollar per copy or two dollars for a yearly subscription. The magazine was distributed beyond bi-co campuses in an effort to "help eliminate isolation of campus from the outside world." The first edition printed and sold 2,500 copies, which were distributed as far as the West coast. The editorial board consisted mainly of members of Bryn Mawr's Sisterhood and Haverford's Black Student's League. Sisterhood and Haverford's Black Student League were both African American cultural centers on their respective campuses.

This collection consists of the first and second editions of Ra, the Bryn Mawr Sisterhood's literary and arts magazine. Editor Rikki Lights described the magazine as "pan-African in scope" as it includes articles, prose, poetry, art, photography, short plays, and book reviews created and edited solely by people of color. The magazine includes contributions from Bi-Co students, alumni, and faculty, as well as written work by famous activists such as W.E.B. Du Bois and members of the Black Panther Party. The magazine also accepted submissions from outside of the United States, focusing mostly on countries they described as "third world countries." The text and artwork of both editions explores themes of racism, Blackness, identity, and activism. While the goal of the magazine was to be semi-annual, it is unclear if any editions were published after the first two. The first edition is 40 pages, and the second, published only months after, expanded to double the size.

Arranged chronologially.

Processed by Lauryn White and Sarah Horowitz, completed 2020. Additional description completed by Maia Schwallie, September 2022.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Lauryn White, Sarah Horowitz, and Maia Schwallie
Finding Aid Date
November, 2020
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17)

Collection Inventory

Box 1

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