Archival Commission, Shiela Flemming-Hunter, Commissioner. Members: Ann Swanson andWilliam Dorsery
Education Commission: TBA
AHSA History Commission: Leonard Jefferies, Commissioner. Members: Shelby Lewis and James Turner
Policy and Activism Commission: Mack Jones, Commissioner. Members: William Boone and Gloria Braxton
Annual Conference Commission: Mae King, Commissioner. Members: Shelby Lewis, Festus Ohaebulam and William Boone, Chair, Local Arrangement Committee.
Over the past four decades, AHSA has played a major role in promoting the heritage of African peoples through scholarly research, influencing US policy towards Africa, educational and cultural activities around the globe. The best and brightest African scholar/activists from have participated in AHSA annual conferences and are committed to renewing AHSA's quest goal of igniting an African Renaissance.
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1969-1972, John Henrik Clarke
1972-1976, James Turner
1976-1980, Ronald Walters
1980-1982, Leonard Jeffries
1982-1984, James Turner
1985-1989, W. Ofuatey-Kodjoe
1985-1989, Charshee McIntyre
1992-1996, William “Nick” Nelson, Jr.
1996-1999, LaVerme Gyant
1999-2002, Leslie Alexander
2002-2006, Abdul Nanji
The organization grew out of a protest at the 1968 African Studies Association (ASA) meeting in Los Angeles. Led by Dr. John H. Clark, African descendant scholars demanded changes in ASA's Eurocentric approaches to African Studies and its marginalization of African descendant scholars. Due to the failure of ASA to reform itself, the African descendant scholars occupied the 1969 ASA Annual Meeting in Montreal, with the support of scholars from around the globe.
Following the 1969 occupation, the concerned African descendants incorporated AHSA in New York in 1969 following a meeting at Federal City College. Dr. John H. Clark was the founding AHSA President and James Turner, Leonard Jeffries, Shelby Lewis (Smith), Nicholas Enyewu and Edward Scobie were among the founding Directors of the organization. The 1st AHSA Annual Conference was held at Howard University in 1970. The 2nd was held at Southern University (1971), the 3rd was held at (1972).
It is important to note that AHSA successfully challenged the right of ASA to be seated as the official US delegation to the 1973 International Association of Africanists in Addis Ababa. The challenge resulted in Dr. John H. Clarke, AHSA's President, being selected to serve as leader of a joint AHSA-ASA delegation.