About ASALH:
Mission, Vision, Structure, Activities

UDC Forum: African American History (2013)

Dr. Sandra Jowers-Barber, assistant professor of history at the University of the District of Columbia interviews Sylvia Y. Cyrus, Executive Director of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History was founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1915 in response to the lack of information on the accomplishments of African Americans.

He established Negro History Week in 1926 and 50 years later in 1976 the week that week became a month-long celebration that today is supported nationally and internationally. Sylvia Cyrus discusses the significance and on-going importance of the Association.

Established on September 9, 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, we are the Founders of Black History Month and carry forth the work of our founder, the Father of Black History. We continue his legacy of speaking a fundamental truth to the world--that Africans and peoples of African descent are makers of history and co-workers in what W. E. B. Du Bois called, "The Kingdom of Culture." ASALH's mission is to create and disseminate knowledge about Black History, to be, in short, the nexus between the Ivory Tower and the global public. We labor in the service of Blacks and all humanity. Learn more about ASALH's history here.

Mission:

The mission of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) is to promote, research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community.

Vision:

The vision of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History is to be the premier Black Heritage learned society with a strong network of national and international branches and partners whose diverse and inclusive membership will continue the Woodson legacy.

History:

Established on September 9, 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, we are the Founders of Black History Month and carry forth the work of our founder, the Father of Black History.We continue his legacy of speaking a fundamental truth to the world--that Africans and peoples of African descent are makers of history and co-workers in what W. E. B. Du Bois called, "The Kingdom of Culture." ASALH's work is to create and disseminate knowledge about Black History, to be, in short, the nexus between the Ivory Tower and the global public. We labor in the service of Blacks and all humanity.
While Carter G. Woodson labored with a singularity of purpose, he did not work alone. His co-workers at the Association were many, ranging from college presidents and government officials, to celebrated poets and philosophers, to everyday folks in rural hamlets. To explore the history of ASALH is to glimpse a people's strivings, their institution building. To bring that history to life in one's imagination is to walk with giants

Structure:

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) is head-quartered in Washington, D.C., temporarily on the campus of Howard University. The Association operates as local, state, and international branches promoting greater knowledge of African American history through a program of education, research, and publishing.

Activities:

  • Sets the annual theme for Black History Month. Establish Annual Black History Theme
  • Publish Annual Black History Theme Learning Resource Package
  • Sponsor annual Black History Kick-Off Events
  • Host Annual Convention and Black History Month Luncheon
  • Establish, nurture and grow ASALH Branches, including campus-based branches & youth guilds.
  • Manage professional Speaker's Bureau
  • Establish national and local Partnerships
  • Host Essay Contest for undergraduate and graduate students
  • Promote oral, public and local history projects
  • Commemorate the birth of our founder, Dr. Carter G. Woodson
  • Dr. David Levering Lewis, Ph.D. and ASALH

    This episode of DC Humanities from 2011, hosted by Marya A. McQuirter, Ph.D, featured guests David Levering Lewis, Ph.D. and Irena Webster, a former Executive Director of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Dr. Lewis gave a lecture on the life and legacy of W.E.B. DuBois and then gave an interview with Dr. McQuirter. McQuirter also interviewed Ms. Webster on the contemporary direction and goals of the ASALH.