Skip to main content
Smith Libraries Exhibits

Otelia Cromwell Day

Brochure for the Otelia Cromwell Symposium on Racism, Smith College, 9 November 1989.


During much of the 1980s and 1990s the BSA spent time responding to racist and homophobic incidents that occurred on campus. Notes, letters, and grafitti appeared on doors, walls, in mailboxes, and on steps of buildings at Smith. The spring of 1989 was a particularly painful one when racist notes were received by students, faculty, and staff. An external investigation never revealed the writer and left the Smith community to deal with the aftermath the notes created. The first Otelia Cromwell Symposium on Racism was held in the fall of 1989, in part, as a response to the events of that spring.