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National Council for Black Studies

The Organization

The National Council for Black Studies (NCBS), was established in 1975 by African American scholars who recognized the need to formalize the study of the African experience and expand and strengthen academic units and community programs devoted to this endeavor. NCBS was formed in 1975 because of the substantial need for a national stabilizing force in the developing discipline of Africana/Black Studies. The roots of NCBS run deep in the evolutionary growth of the discipline of Africana Studies, since the organization was formed only seven years after the establishment of the first Black Studies program in the United States. Today, the purpose of the NCBS is multidimensional, and the scope of its functioning is quite broad. As an academic organization excellence and social responsibility.

For more than two decades, American education has been profoundly affected by the emergence of Africana/Black Studies. The impact on the broader educational establishment is because of the holistic and metadisciplinary approach taken by Africana Studies. Its challenge to traditional scholarship and its regard for social responsibility in its content and application. Growing fundamentally out of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s, Africana/Black Studies has become the intellectual extension of that movement. From a holistic approach to the subject matter, Africana/Black Studies scholars have engaged in the meticulousexamination of the global experience of peoples of African descent.

In support of this activity, NCBS has worked toward the development of the Africana/Black Studies as a discipline from kindergarten to graduate school. Today, NCBS steadfastly works to:

  • Establish standards of excellence and provide development guidance fro Black Studies programs in institutions of higher education.
  • Facilitate through consultations and other services, the recruitment of Black Scholars for all levels of teachings and research in universities and colleges.
  • Assist in the creation and implementation of multicultural education programs and materials for K-12 schools and higher education institutions.
  • Promote scholarly African-centered research on all aspects of the African World experience.
  • Increase and improve informational resources on Pan African life and culture to be made available to the general public.
  • Provide professional advice to policy makers in education, government and community development.
    Maintain international linkages among Africana Studies scholars.


NCBS’s national and international organizational activities encompasses the following:

International Journal of African Studies

NCBS publishes a professional refereed journal dedicated to scholarship and research in African Studies. The journal, formerly known as The Afrocentric Scholars, was renamed The International Journal of Africana Studies in 1995. This journal is dedicated to the global advancement of research and scholarship within the discipline and has published scholarly articles from scholars all over the world.

The Voice of Black Studies

This is the official newsletter of NCBS. The newsletter serves to highlight NCBS’s organized achievements and the achievements of its members, and institutional members. The Voice is provided as a service to members and runs a section on employment opportunities in the field and carries advertisements on conferences and academic programs of interest to the membership of NCBS.

Conference Procedures

The Annual Conference Proceedings makes available up-to-date research and scholarship presented at NCBS conferences to researchers in the field, and to the general public.

NCBS Publishing House

In 1995, the NCBS Board has established an in-house publications agenda and appointed Dr. Diedre Badejo, a professor of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University, Ohio, as the general editor of NCBS publications. The Publishing House is slated to commission top-notch scholars to author much-needed textbooks for use at the K-12, undergraduate, and graduate levels. It is also anticipated that with the Publishing House in place, NCBS will be able to commission important research projects encompassing African World peoples. Partnership with various established publishing agencies are under consideration.

Summer Institutes

Since 1990, NCBS has organized Summer Institutes for Africana Studies scholars who are teaching or contemplating teaching in Africana Studies programs. The aim of the Summer Institute is to bring young scholars who are trained outside of the discipline together with established seniors scholars to explore cutting-edge intellectual issues in the field. These institutes have been useful in building a cadre of scholars who are exploring new and exciting research paradigms, and networking with each other through NCBS’s Summer Institute Alumni Network. Since 1993, the Summer Institute has been held in Accra, Ghana, in collaboration with the University of Ghana, Legon. Many alumni have become active members, and in some cases, board members of NCBS.

Administrative Institute

The Annual Africana Studies Administrative Institute provides new Africana Studies department chairs and program directors with an understanding of the particulars of administering Africana/Black Studies programs within predominantly white institutions. However, over the years the institute has also proven useful for administrators from historically black institutions. In addition to a rigorous examination of the basic philosophical and bureaucratic challenges that confront the leadership of the discipline, attention is paid to issues such as sexual harassment, affirmative action, and other matters that contemporary administrators have to understand.

Academic Symposia and Mini Conferences

NCBS recently initiated the practice of holding symposia and mini-conferences in conjunction with interested member institutions and departments, focusing on important issues and concerns that are central to the mission of NCBS.

African Language Institute

Aware of the difficulties associated with the teaching of African Language on college campuses in the United States and other parts of the African World, NCBS negotiated with the University of Ghana to establish an African Language Institute in Ghana, where students from all over the African World can receive the intensive language training.

The Curriculum Project

Since 1985, NCBS has been active in the development of a meaningful and holistic Africana Studies curriculum for the departments in the United States and other parts of the world. The Africana Studies Holistic Curriculum Model was developed by a National Curriculum Committee chaired by Dr. William Little. The model established new curricular standards for undergraduate programs and there is ongoing consultation with educators at all levels to establish standards for K-12 and for graduate studies.

Program Evaluation

To ensure that academic programs are of a quality and standard that is acceptable and aligned with advancements in the discipline. NCBS provides program evaluation services to colleges and universities. Evaluation is carried out by reputable scholars who have been involved in the development of the discipline.

International Linkages

NCBS is committed t the creation and maintenance of a worldwide forum fro the advancement of knowledge on and about the history, culture, welfare, and life possibilities of people of African descent. To that end, NCBS endeavors to keep scholars from all across the Diaspora in touch with each other. NCBS is recognized worldwide as a primary forum for the internationally acclaimed scholars, researchers, community leaders (within and outside of the discipline milieu) to share information, form networks, and create strategies for the development of Africana Studies as an integral and viable entity in American education and in curricula all over the world. The organization now has representation and/or offices in Ghana, Guyana; The United Kingdom; and South Africa.

By striving to achieve its primary goals of defining, promoting, and enriching research and instruction in Black/ Africana Studies, the organization has become a vehicle for advancing the knowledge of and about the history, lives culture, and life possibilities of people of the African World. In doing so, it seeks to affect public policy in the United States and thus contribute to the liberation of people of the African descent throughout Africa and the Diaspora.

NCBS has more than 250 colleges, universities, school districts, and community organizations who subscribe as “institutional” members, and about 2,000 professional, student, and community members.

Last updated: 10/9/2017