Awards and Recognitions

Each year, ASALH presents several awards to recognize community leaders and those who make significant contributions to the preservation of African American history. The awards are listed below.


Living Legacy Awards
In partnership with Farmers Insurance, the ASALH Living Legacy Awards honor African American women and men across the country engaged in extraordinary work to improve communities, institutions, organizations and family life.


Woodson Scholars Medallion
Established in 1993, the Carter Godwin Woodson Scholars Medallion is presented to a scholar whose career is distinguished through at least a decade of research, writing, and activism in the field of African American life and history.

Mary McLeod Bethune Service Award
This award was established in tribute to Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune because of her dynamic leadership and her years of contributing to  education, women’s history, and African-American life and culture. Dr. Bethune served as the first woman president of ASALH from  1936 to 1951 and is one of the most outstanding women role models in our history.

Council Award of Special Recognition
ASALH established the Award of Special Recognition to acknowledge the contributions of individuals, institutions and corporations that make a substantial contribution to the success of ASALH in pursuing the mission of its founder, Dr. Carter G. Woodson.

National Educational Association’s Carter G. Woodson Memorial Award
ASALH is a co-sponsor of the NEA’s Carter G. Woodson Award. The Woodson Award is given for leadership in promoting Black History Month, for furthering the understanding of Black Americans’ heritage, and for accomplishing significant positive change.

National Educational Association’s H. Councill Trenholm Memorial Award
Dr. Trenholm was a contemporary of Dr. Carter G. Woodson and served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Association. This award recognizes individuals who embodies Dr. Trenholm’s tenacity and spirit of service.

The Dorothy Porter Wesley Award
The Dorothy Porter Wesley Award was established in 2018 by the Information Professionals of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) to honor and document the outstanding work of Information Professionals; Bibliophiles, Librarians, Archivists, Curators and Collectors. Many of our Information Professionals have also played a major role in supporting the work of ASALH, by serving in leadership roles and as members.