<back to Community Board

If you would like to post a news item, please complete this online form . News postings will stay online for up to 60 days, but may remain posted for less time if additional more recent postings require their removal.

Black Enterprise 100s Business Icon Herman J. Russell Has Passed Away

Herman J. Russell, the iconic entrepreneur who built the nation's largest black-owned construction and real estate firm, as well as much of the Atlanta skyline, died today at the age of 83. He was also a behind-the-scenes financial backer of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., later playing a critical role in the construction (both literally and in terms of economic and civic participation for African Americans) of the "New South" Atlanta during the administration of the city's first black mayor, Maynard H. Jackson Jr. Russell was the first black member of Atlanta's Chamber of Commerce and the second black person to lead the organization as its president.

Russell's company, H.J. Russell & Company, which he founded as a small plastering business, is one of only three companies to rank among the Black Enterprise 100s annual lists of the nation's largest black-owned businesses in every year since the rankings were first published in 1973. In addition to being recognized with the A.G. Gaston Lifetime Achievement Award, BE's highest recognition for entrepreneurship, in 1997, Russell was also named among 40 "Titans: The Most Powerful African Americans in Business–and How They Shaped Our World" in the 40th anniversary issue of the BE magazine in 2010.

Click here for more information.

Posted on: 11/19/2014


Washington, D.C. - President Barack Obama announced his intention to appoint Robert G. Stanton to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP).

Robert G. Stanton, of Fairfax Station, Va., will be appointed for a four-year term as an expert member of the ACHP. No stranger to preservation, Stanton was the 15th director of the National Park Service (NPS) from 1997-2001 and most recently served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior. Stanton started his career in 1962 as a park ranger at Grand Teton National Park and rose to leadership of the NPS. He has been actively engaged with a number of national conservation organizations and initiatives, having co-founded the African American Experience Fund of the National Park Foundation. Stanton has been nationally recognized through numerous awards and citations for outstanding public service and leadership in conservation, historic preservation and youth programs, and has been awarded five honorary doctoral degrees. He has a B.S. from Huston-Tillotson University. Stanton is currently a visiting university lecturer and private consultant in national park administration, natural and cultural resource management and diversity in employment and public programs.

Stanton's previous interactions with the ACHP include serving on President Obama's transition team for the agency and participating in the joint ACHP-NPS-Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership initiative "Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student" service learning project at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

Click here for more information.

Posted on: 11/06/2014


COLUMBUS, Ohio - In 1982, Franklinton resident Curt Moody opened his own architectural firm with a two-person staff, and never dreamed that it would become one of the most respected architectural firms in the nation and the largest African-American-owned architectural firm in the country.

Therefore, it was exceptionally meaningful when Moody Nolan was recently awarded The International Architecture Award for its work on the new International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. Hundreds of award submissions were received from architectural firms across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and the Americas. This prestigious program honors new skyscrapers, commercial buildings, urban plans, private residences and real estate projects that achieve a high standard of excellence in design, construction, planning and sustainability, and promote best practices in all types of real estate development for the private and public sectors.

This year's recipients were from a total of 36 nations and their work was premiered at the Istanbul Design Biennial. The exhibition was entitled The City and the World and traveled through Europe prior to making its debut in the United States at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, September 21 - October 13, 2014.

The International African American Museum is devoted to telling the story of the passage of African peoples from slavery to emancipation and freedom in the South. The building represents the journey slaves took from the origins of Africa, across the Atlantic Ocean and through America. The interior visually recognizes the talents and contributions of African-Americans in dance and music, as is expressed in the collages, galleries, symbolism, imagery, patterns, colors and textures used within and on the exterior of the building. This expressed energy is meant to incite the innermost feelings of visitors, allowing him or her to fully participate in the journey with every twist and turn.

Posted on: 11/06/2014

Washington Informer's 50th Anniversary Celebrates Local Influencers

The 50th anniversary influencers' reception, held at the Carnegie Library in Northwest on Thursday Oct. 23, marked the last of a series of events sponsored by the newspaper to mark its five decades of weekly news coverage of events in the Greater Washington Area. ASALH's own Executive Director, Sylvia Cyrus, and ASALH Executive Council Member, Dorothy Bailey, were recognized as awardees, with other ASALH Members in attendance.

"The Washington Informer serves as the quilter, stitching together the many patches of our African-American and black diaspora here in the metro area," said Louis Davis, Jr., state director, AARP, Inc., District of Columbia. "If [the Informer] didn't do it, no one else would. This celebration has been uplifting for all of us."

The festive affair included performances by the Urban Nation Hip-Hop Choir and students from Richard Wright Public Charter School, a presentation by Jacqueline Woody, special assistant in the Office of the Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and words of congratulations from some of the District's most respected business and community leaders.

Click here for more information.

Posted on: 11/03/2014

African American Episcopal Historical Collection (AAEHC) Research Opportunities

Travel reimbursement grants are available to individuals who would like to use the African American Episcopal Historical Collection (AAEHC) for research. Faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, independent researchers, and Episcopal clergy and laypersons are encouraged to apply. Funds may be used for transportation, meals, lodging, photocopying, and other research costs.

The AAEHC is a joint project of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church and the Virginia Theological Seminary. Through documents, institutional records, oral histories, personal papers, and photographs, the collection documents the experiences of African American Episcopalians. Individual collections contain significant references to religious faith and involvement in the Episcopal Church, particularly at the regional, diocesan, and local levels.

The application deadline is January 15, 2015. For more information, visit contact

Posted on: 10/21/2014

ASALH Member Wins Best Scholarly/Academic Work at Comic Con

This summer, at the San Diego Comic-Con ceremony for the Eisners ("the Oscars of comics"), Ronald L. Jackson II together with Dr. Sheena C. Howard won the award. Because this time, a highly illuminating work about the history of black comics, and black comics creators, was able to take home the prize, for Best Scholarly/Academic Work.

"Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation" (Bloomsbury), edited by Howard and Ronald L. Jackson II, is an especially essential work because it not only holds a clear and illuminating mirror up to the faces we see on paper, but it also attaches faces and personal back-stories to black writers and artists - pioneers who are all too overlooked, who faced struggles all too forgotten.

Click here for more information and read Dr. Sheena's Q&A.

Posted on: 10/09/2014

Huggins-Quarles Award

Named for Benjamin Quarles and Nathan Huggins, two outstanding historians of the African American past, the Huggins-Quarles Award is given annually by the Organization of American Historians to one or two graduate students of color to assist them with expenses related to travel to research collections for the completion of the PhD dissertation. These awards were established to promote greater diversity in the historical profession.

Application Procedures: To apply, the student should submit the following items

- Cover letter, which should also indicate the candidate's progress on the dissertation, including ABD status
- CV
- Abstract: a five-page dissertation proposal (double spaced), which should include a definition of the project, an explanation of the project's significance and contribution to the field, and a description of the most important primary sources
- A one-page itemized budget explaining travel and research plans

The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2014

Click here for more information.

Posted on: 10/14/2014

Perfomer Jonathan Blanchard

Jonathan Blanchard's artistic tastes were first forged in grade school. However, by the time he entered East High School his artistic curiosity had led him to sing in various chorus, and to act in a number of theatre productions. While achieving the Bachelors of Science in Commercial Music and the Master of Science in Music Education Degrees from Tennessee State University, he learned to weave the various elements of his artistic nature into its magnetic style of delivery. His artistry transcends Jazz Bistro & Concert Hall venues, and his stage credits include roles as diverse as The Priest in "Your Arms Too Short to Box with God", Bernardo in "A Westside Story", Simeon and Potifer in "Joseph's Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", Caesar in "Scipio", the Ex-Slave in "Do Lord Remember Me", and The Lion in "The Wiz", he's done voice-over work for local and national concerns, appeared on Memphis' WREG - Live At 9 program, and most recently been the featured singing artist on the PBS film "Underground Railroad - Quilt Code"; for Georgia Public Broadcast. Blanchard has also presented concerts, master classes, and demonstrations where his musical insights have captivated the imaginations of grade school, high school, and college students alike. In conjunction with Opera Memphis's Educational Outreach Program-Black Roots in Opera, Blanchard toured throughout Tennessee's major metropolitan areas to help celebrate the Life & Artistry of Paul Robeson. Come and enjoy.

Click here for more information and bookings.

Posted on: 10/09/2014