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BLACK PHYSICISTS COLLECTION 1989-2005
2 linear feet
This collection documents two organizations, the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and the National Conference of Black Physics Students (NCBPS). The National Society of Black Physicists was established in 1977 at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD to promote the professional well-being of African American physicists within the international scientific community and within society at large. The first elected leaders of the organization were Co-Chairs, Dr. Walter Massey then dean of the faculty and professor of Physics at Brown University who later became President of Morehouse College, and Dr. James Davenport, Chair of the Department of Physics at Virginia State University.
The National Society of Black Physicists is the largest organization devoted to the African-American physics community. Among its many activities, NSBP members serve as science ambassadors and give lectures at elementary, middle, high school, and colleges to encourage students to pursue careers in science, engineering, and mathematics and physics. NSBP gives annual scholarships to undergraduates studying physics and an Outstanding Graduate Student Dissertation Award. The NSBP presents a variety of awards to African-American physicists for their contributions to the field. In addition, members selected annually are inducted into the NSBP Society of Fellows for outstanding contributions to NSBP, physics research, and physics education.
Each year NSBP holds a conference that provides a forum for African-American physicists to meet and to discuss and exchange insights on the overall state of the physics profession. This is also a time to build a support network and to encourage students. The membership is keenly aware that the number of working African-American physicists is small and a primary goal of NSBP is to increase the number of African-Americans in the profession.
For more information about NSBP, see their website: http://www.nsbp.org
In 1986, several black physics graduate students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University organized the National Conference of Black Physics Students. They wanted to address the issue of the continuing paucity and isolation of African Americans in the field of physics. The conference is open to graduate and undergraduate physics students. The goals of the Conference are to develop a network within the black physics community; to make black students in physics, particularly at the graduate level, aware of academic and professional opportunities; and to bring important issues of concerns in the field to the attention of these students.