AHA Activities

Committee on Minority Historians Annual Report

Joseph E. Harris, October 1992

The members of the Committee on Minority Historians (CMH) are: Deena J. Gonzales, Pomona College; Clara Sue Kidwell, University of California at Berkeley; Antonio Rios-Bustamante, University of Arizona at Tucson; Claire Sanders, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Joseph E. Taylor, Bethune-Cookman College at Daytona Beach, Florida; R. Bin Wong, University of California at Irvine; and Joseph E. Harris, Howard University, Chair. Noralee Frankel and James B. Gardner have provided excellent staff support, and the Executive Director Samuel R. Gammon has also been an active substantive participant in our meetings.

This committee met twice during the last year and reaffirmed its commitment to increase the presence of minority historians in the profession and the Association; to establish contact with Association committees and advise on the status of minority historians in the organization; to broaden the discourse between minority and other historians generally and particularly on matters concerning teaching and research; and to cultivate meaningful relations with museums and other applied public history groups of relevance to minority historians.

The CMH has initiated plans to establish a joint Wesley/Logan Prize in African diaspora history with the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH). This prize, scheduled to be awarded annually beginning in 1994, will be offered for an outstanding book on some aspect of the dispersion, settlement, adjustment, and return of peoples from Africa. The prize is named after professors Charles H. Wesley and Rayford W. Logan, two distinguished historians who taught at Howard University, published widely on Africa and its diaspora, and played critical roles in the establishment of the ASALH. They also were active participants in this Association. The CMH appeals for contributions to the Wesley/Logan Prize fund, which will be managed by the AHA. Contributions may be sent to Joseph E. Harris, Box 682, Howard University, Washington, D.C. 20059.

The CMH has also launched efforts to inaugurate a pamphlet series on diversity in America. This series will be aimed primarily at teachers and will include content and instructional materials. Additional information will be forthcoming.

The committee also plans to identify areas of concern to minority historians and recommend ways of involving more of them in the activities of the Association. We hope to cooperate more effectively with other committees of the Association. Indeed, cooperation with the Committee on Women Historians has already begun, as both committees supported the nomination of Professor Merze Tate for the Award for Scholarly Distinction.

The CMH invites comments from all colleagues in the Association and invites all of them to our annual reception.