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University Archives Digital Collections

Guide to using digitized University Archives Resources. Guide is co-created by Graduate Student Assistants, Casey Hughes and Sara Ludewig.


The Black Explosion was created to serve as the “Black voice” for the University of Maryland and to bring particular attention to issues that affect the Black community at UMD.

The Black Student Union began publishing an independent newspaper entitled the Black Explosion sometime between 1967 and 1970. The UMD Student Newspaper database has copies starting in 1970.

Maryland Media Inc. voted to accept this bi-monthly paper as a full member in September 1972, and the Black Explosion appeared under the MMI umbrella until fall 1985 when the Nyumburu Cultural Center took over sponsorship of the paper. The paper was also briefly known as simply “The Explosion,” from fall 1978 to March 1979, before resuming the name it bears today.

Publication frequency varied in the paper’s early days from monthly to bi-weekly then weekly, returning to a bi-monthly schedule in 1974, which it maintained until the later years of the paper. Ultimately, in early 2016, Black Explosion became an online-only publication, available at