Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham
Dear ASALH Members and Friends:
It is my great privilege and honor to greet you at the start of 2016 as President of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. It is indeed a momentous occasion for me, since ASALH has entered into its second century. I take the helm of this great organization with a mindset that looks backward and forward.
Looking at our past, I will be forever grateful for Carter G. Woodson's indomitable spirit and tireless commitment to building this organization in the first half of the twentieth century. His death in 1950 did not permit him to see the significant social transformation in America brought on by the movements for civil rights and black pride. Nor did he ever see the unprecedented surge of publications on the black experience brought on by what historian John Hope Franklin described in 1957 as "the valid interconnection between the history of a people and their drive for first-class citizenship."
Franklin admitted then as we all know now that the surge in black history did not occur over night, or even in a decade, although it certainly grew steadily with each passing year because of the foundation laid by Carter G. Woodson and ASALH. Thus I must express a debt of gratitude to all the former leaders since Woodson who have taken ASALH to this point and especially our past president Daryl M. Scott and the Executive Council members whose terms ended in our Centennial year.
Like you, I can say with tremendous pride that ASALH continues its important mission of collecting, promoting, studying, and disseminating historical materials of people of African descent. At the dawn of this new era in the life of our organization, I look forward to joining with the new elected officers, Executive Council members, and Executive Director Sylvia Y. Cyrus in exciting black history programs, to visiting branches, to growing our membership, to including more of you on various national committees, and to participating in the development of new ideas and partnerships. Most of all, as your president, I look forward to working with each of you in 2016 and beyond.
Happy New Year!
Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, National President