What was the American Negro Academy(ANA)? It was a intellectual organization that supported Black American scholarship.


Founded om March 5, 1897, in Washington D.C., by 78-year-old Alexander Crummell (March 3, 1819 – September 10, 1898), an Black American minister, educator, social analyst, and advocate of Black Americans. The organization was the first in the United States composed of Black American scholars. It was formed with the intent of using intellectual members such as, Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915), William Edward Burghardt “W. E. B.” Du Bois (February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963), John Wesley Cromwell (September 5, 1846 – April 14, 1927), Paul Laurence Dunbar (June 27, 1872 – February 9, 1906), Kelly Miller (July 18 1863 – December 29, 1939), and Walter B. Hayson.


The founder Alexander served as the organization first president until his death the following year in 1898. The American Negro Academy was an all-male organization, the ANA consisted of those with backgrounds in law, medicine, literature, religion, and community activism.  Their collective goal, however, was to “lead and protect their people” and to be a “weapon to secure equality and destroy racism”. They were also dedicated to the promotion of higher education, Arts, and Science for Black Americans as part of the overall struggle for racial equality.

The organization was also formed to provide an alternative to Booker T. Washington’s approach to education and scholarship. Washington’s Tuskegee University was based on what was called the Atlanta Compromise. He emphasized vocational and industrial training for southern blacks, who lived mostly in rural areas, and discouraged academic studies in the liberal arts.


The Academy generally held an annual meeting at the Lincoln Memorial Church , in Washington, D.C., which usually lasted one to two days. A public audience was invited to attend all, but the Academy’s business meetings, reserved solely for members. The schedule would occupy the entire day. Once the session was called to order, reports were presented by the Academy’s secretary and treasurer

The American Negro Academy waned during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. Closing the doors on the organization in 1928, but later experienced a rebirth of its own over forty years later as various musicians, poets, historians, and other artists again gathered to carry out the original goals of the ANA.  These scholars and artists organized meetings that led to the creation of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters (BAAL), which was established to continue the ANA’s mission. A non-profit organization, the Black Academy of Arts and Letters was chartered in New York City, New York in 1969.


Constitution of the American Negro Academy(ANA), 189715434

Article 1: The officers of the Academy, to be elected annually, shall be a President, four Vice-Presidents, a Corresponding Secretary, a Recording Secretary, a Treasurer, and an Executive Committee of five persons, who shall perform the usual duties of such offices. When onerous duties are judged to demand it, the Secretaries may be salaried men.

Article 2: The membership of the Academy shall be limited to fifty persons.

Article 3: The conditions of membership shall be: (a) Candidates shall be men of Science, Letters and Art, or those distinguished in other walks of life. (b) Candidates must be recommended by six enrolled members, in a written application, through one of the Secretaries. (c) Admission to membership shall be by ballot—by a two-thirds vote of all the membership, voting in person or by proxy—due notice having been given, two months before the balloting, to every member.

Article 4: The Academy shall endeavor with care and diligence: (a) To promote the publication of scholarly work; (b) To aid youths of genius in the attainment of the higher culture, at home or abroad; (c) To gather into its Archives valuable data, and the works of Negro Authors; (d) To aid, by publications, the dissemination of the truth and the vindication of the Negro race from vicious assaults; (e) To publish, if possible, an “ANNUAL” designed to raise the standard of intellectual endeavor among American Negroes.

Article 5: The Academy may invite authors and writers, members and others, to submit their proposed publications to the criticism and judgement of the Academy: and if they shall receive its approval such publications may be issued under the recommendation of the Academy.

Article 6: The Annual Meetings of the Academy shall take place in the City of Washington, which shall be its seat, in the month of December, when papers shall be read, and such other exercises be held as the Academy, from year to year, may order.

Article 7: The admission fees to the Academy shall be $5.00 (including the first annual fee) and members shall be assessed annually $2.00; failure in payment of this or any other obligation voluntarily assumed for two years, shall cause membership to cease. Special assessments may be made for publications. Article 8 In the publications of the Academy no titles of degrees shall be joined to the names of the members.









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