Brad Grant & Dennis Mann
The Directory of African American Architects identifies and highlights licensed AfricanAmerican architects. We began the first edition in November 1991 to identify all of the African Americans who were professionally licensed as architects. The first directory established a baseline with which we could plot the demographic changes among African American architects over time. We also used the data collected from the first edition to facilitate our research profiling the roles that African American architects play in education and in practice. The second edition of the directory (1996) continued our efforts to provide an up-to-date and accurate listing of licensed African American architects.
The architectural press continues to report weak African American representation in the profession, not only for practice, but also for architectural education. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) reported that for the 1993-94 academic year, 6.3 percent of students in accredited B. Arch and M. Arch programs were African American. In that same year, only 3.6 percent of the graduates from both of those programs were African American. No recent statistics tell us how many graduates remain in the profession as interns or continue on to licensure. African American women are even less represented in practice; we listed only 84 women in the 1996 directory.
Historians have been slow to incorporate African American contributions to American architecture into their work or into architecture curricula, but the African American architectural tradition continues today. African American architects are actively involved in all levels of professional practice. Since we began our research in 1990, the number of licensed African American architects has more than quadrupled to 2,181, and the number of licensed African American women has grown from 49 to 423.