The Association for Black Anthropologists (ABA) was founded in 1970 by a small group of intellectuals who sought to break down barriers that impeded their full participation in the discipline of Anthropology. By creating scholarship that linked anthropological theory to struggles for social justice, these elders transformed anthropology and helped create generations of intellectual leaders.

ABA brings together Black Anthropologists and other scholars who are concerned with the goals of the ABA and who support its activities.

ABA seeks to ensure that people studied by anthropologists are not only objects of study but active makers and/or participants in their own history. In a larger sense, we intend to highlight situations of exploitation, oppression and discrimination.

Further it is our objective to analyze and critique social science theories that misrepresent the reality of exploited groups while at the same time construct more adequate theories to interpret the dynamics of oppression.

We will encourage anthropologists to involve the people being studied and the local scholars, whenever possible, in all stages of research and dissemination of findings.

We are committed to encouraging the participation of students of anthropology, recruiting Black graduate students, enrolling Black graduate students to the ABA and mentoring students involved in ABA.

Finally we will strive to establish firmer connections and scholarly exchange among Black anthropologists, especially African anthropologists.


For more information on the history of ABA, check out:

The Association of Black Anthropologists:
A Brief History
PDF (1,417 kB)
Author: Ira E. Harrison
Source: Anthropology Today, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Feb., 1987), pp. 17-21
Publisher(s): Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
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