American Society of African Culture

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Duration: 1957 - 1969
Location: New York, New York, United States


The American Society of African Culture (AMSAC) was composed of some four hundred Americans of African ancestry who primarily were teachers, scholars, and artists. It came into existence in 1957 as a result of the First World Congress of Negro Writers and Artists called by the editors of the journal, Presence Africaine, in Paris in 1956. The purpose of AMSAC was to promote African culture as a way of educating Americans about the cultural contributions by Africans and people of African heritage throughout the world. In particular, AMSAC attempted to expose African Americans to their cultural heritage and give it pride of place along side the cultural contributions of other groups. To this end, AMSAC sponsored exhibits by artists of African descent, scholarly lectures on contemporary issues relevant to Africans and African Americans, such as nationalism and Pan-Africanism, as well as musical performances by African and African-American artists. AMSAC also organized international forums for the exchange of political and cultural ideas between Africans and African Americans and held numerous conferences that drew the attention of prominent people from around the world. In 1964, AMSAC began the publication of the journal, African Forum, with John A. Davis as editor. The organization ceased to operate in 1969.

Organizational Archive


Title: American Society of African Culture (Southern Africa materials)
Time Span: 1957 - 1969
Media: 42 boxes
Description: The records contain documents from conferences, organizations, and individuals. The "Southern Africa in Transition Conference" held at Howard University in Washington D.C. in 1963 generated a large number of documents that form part of this inventory. The following are examples of organizations represented in these records: Committee of Conscience Against Apartheid, South African Freedom Action Committee, and Student Aid for South Africans Abroad Association. One also will find correspondence between AMSAC officers and the officers of other organizations. A few of the student organizations have documents in the records that include organization newsletters, student newspapers, and photographs. Examples of individuals in the records include Horace Mann Bond, John A. Davis, Ezekiel Mphahlele, Lewis N'kosi, Harry Belafonte, Miriam Makeba, Bloke Modisane, Seretse Khama, John F. Kennedy, Charles C. Diggs, and Ndabiningi Sithole.
Housed At: Howard University, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center
Location: 500 Howard Place, NW, Washington, DC 20059, United States
Catalog/Finding Aid: view
Restrictions: By appointment only, call (202) 806-7480
Phone: (202) 806-7240
Related Website: http://library.howard.edu/MSRC

Related Archive
Title: Allard Kenneth Lowenstein Papers
Time Span: 1924 - 1995 (Africa about 1954 - 1972)
Media: 327 feet
Description: Political activist Allard Kenneth Lowenstein (1929-1980) served as a lawyer, teacher, speaker, author, United States congressman from New York, United States representative to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and founder and leader of several organizations. The collection includes correspondence, organizational records, political campaign records, congressional files, writings, speeches, press clippings, research materials, scheduling files, financial and administrative records, diaries, scrapbooks, family papers, photographs, sound recordings, videocasette tapes, and other items documenting the life and career of Allard K. Lowenstein. The collection includes material on United States and relations with other countries, especially Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and the Soviet Union and anti-Vietnam War activities. The collection includes United Nations material related to Namibia (South West Africa) and other African counties including of the Fourth Committee. The collection includes material of the American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa, American Society of African Culture (AMSAC), the American Committee on Africa (ACOA), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) material related to South Africa, the Consultative Council on South Africa, and the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS).
Housed At: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wilson Library, University Archives and Records Service
Location: CB# 3926, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 27514-8890, United States
Catalog/Finding Aid: view
Phone: (919) 962-1345
Related Website: http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss