Our History


In 1969, E.J. Josey was appointed to the American Library Association Nominating Committee. Josey encouraged black librarians to come together at the ALA 1970 Midwinter meeting in an effort to find socially responsible black and white candidates for the 1971 ALA Council. At the meeting it was decided that ALA was not serving the needs of black library professionals and a Black Caucus was formed to address concerns. E.J. Josey was elected chairman of the Black Caucus and the first two goals of the organization were to present a formal Statement of Concern to the ALA and to submit a resolution to the ALA Council that would censure libraries and librarians providing materials and services to private segregated schools that were formed in order to avoid integration.


In 1992 the Black Caucus became formally affiliated with ALA and a scholarship fund named after E.J. Josey was created to provide African Americans with financial assistance for the persuit of a graduate level library and information studies degree. This year also marked the first National Conference of African American Librarians (NCAAL). In 1995 the group celebrated its 25th anniversary and revised its mission statement to read as it currently does today.


BCALA Mission: The Black Caucus of the American Library Association serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation's African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians.

E.J. Josey, 1970-1971

William D. Cunningham, 1971-1973

James R. Wright, 1973-1974

Harry Robinson, Jr., 1974-1976

Avery Williams, 1976-1978

Dr. George C. Grant, 1978-1980

Doreitha R. Madden, 1980-1982

Robert L. Wright, 1982-1984

Barbara Williams Jenkins, 1984-1986

Marva L. DeLoach, 1986-1988

Edith M. Fisher, 1988-1990

John C. Tyson, 1990-1992

D. Alex Boyd, 1992-1994

Stanton F. Biddle, 1994-1996

Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin, 1996-1998

Gregory Reese, 1998-2000

Gladys Smiley Bell, 2000-2002

Bobby Player, 2002-2004

Andrew P. Jackson, (Sekou Molefi Baako) 2004-2006

Wanda Brown, 2006-2008

Karolyn S. Thompson, 2008-2010

Jos N. Holman, 2010-2012 

Jerome Offord, Jr, 2012-2014

Kelvin A. Watson, 2014-2016