This publication is a project of the planning committee for the Annual Local Conference on Afro-American Culture and History. The project is an effort to collect and publish nearly seventy one-to-two-page historical profiles presented at the Local Conference from 1983 through 1995.
        Through the efforts of Representative Rufus Jones, representing House District 86 in Memphis, some funding was provided by the Tennessee General Assembly. Representative Harold Love, representative for House District 54, and Senator Thelma Harper, representing Senatorial District 19, were very supportive of the project from its inception. Members of the Tennessee Caucus of Black State Legislators, as well as other General Assembly members, gave support for funding this project.
       General Assembly funding became a special appropriation to Tennessee State University, where the co-editor and the Conference were headquartered.
        The Annual Local Conference on Afro-American Culture and History (ALCACH) began in September of 1981 at Tennessee State University's downtown campus. The founding members were Bobby L. Lovett (Tennessee State University), Lois C. McDougald (Tennessee State University), Maydean Coop Eberling (Metropolitan Historical Commission), and Linda T. Wynn (Tennessee Historical Commission). The purpose of the conference was to hold an annual all-day meeting for presentation of papers, projects, and activities related to local and Tennessee black culture and history. During its second conference in February of 1983, the ALCACH began publication of one-to-two-page profiles of black historical personalities and institutions.
        The Conference published four or five profiles for distribution at each annual meeting, totaling nearly seventy profiles by the Fourteenth Annual Conference in February of 1995. The conference's profiles and additional ones gathered from across the state during 1994-1995 serve as the main body of this publication.

December 15, 1995                                                                 Bobby L. Lovett