Africa Access, a 501 c (3) organization was founded in 1989 to help schools, public libraries, and parents improve the quality of their K-12 collections on Africa. Africa Access Review , the Africana Book Club and Children’s Africana BookAwards (CABA) have been effective initiatives in our efforts to inform the public about quality K-12 books on Africa. In 1991, Africa Access in collaboration with the Outreach Council* of the African Studies Association created the Children’s Africana Book Awards with three major objectives (1) to encourage the publication of children’s and young adult books that contribute to a better understanding of African societies and issues, (2) to recognize literary excellence, and (3) to acknowledge the research achievements of outstanding authors and illustrators. The first CABA was presented in 1992. Today over seventy-four titles have been recognized and more than 100 authors and illustrators are members of our Winners Circle. Each winning title has been vetted by our awards jury which is composed of African Studies and Children’s Literature scholars.
Brenda Randolph, Founder and Director
Brenda. Randolph is a graduate of North Carolina Central University, holds a Master’s degree in African Studies from Howard University and a Master’s in Information Services from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has worked as a library media specialist in Virginia, Massachusetts and Maryland. Ms. Randolph created the Title VI African Studies Resource Center at Howard University in the early 1980s. In 1989, she founded Africa Access. Ms. Randolph is a major contributor to Sankofa Journal, a peer-reviewed journal edited by Meena Khorana and published annually by the Department of English and Language Arts at Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland. Sankofa includes scholarly articles on emerging trends in African and African Diaspora juvenile literatures and in-depth book reviews of books nominated by U.S. publishers for the Children’s Africana Book Awards.
Harriet McGuire, Vice President
Harriet McGuire is a graduate of Smith College. She received Spanish and Portuguese language training at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center. She has lived in six African countries, worked as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and currently volunteers for non-profit organizations which promote contemporary Africa arts and cultural exchange. In addition to Africa Access she works in a voluntary capacity for the African Book Collective, the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa, Sankofa Journal and serves on the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian Warren Robbins Library at the National Musuem of African Art.
Robert Edgar, Chairman of the Board
Robert Edgar is professor of African Studies at Howard University, Washington D.C. He holds a Ph.D. in African History from the University of California, Los Angeles, a M.A. in African History from Indiana University and a B.A. in History from Oklahoma State University. His areas of teaching and research include African History, Southern African History, African Religious and Political Movements and Social Science Research Methods.
Cheryl Hamlin Freeman, Treasurer
Cheryl Hamlin Freeman graduated from Howard University’s College of Pharmacy. She has worked at Kaiser Permanente and numerous hospitals in the Washington, DC area. Her passions are genealogy, gardening and working with children.
Aisha K. Artis holds a B.S. in Business Marketing from Morgan State University, a M.S.Ed. in Secondary Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University, and a Post-Graduate Certification in School Administration and Supervision from Johns Hopkins University. She is currently a Washington D.C. Education Policy fellow for the Institute of Educational Leadership. She is an Educational Consultant and an Educator for the Montgomery County Public Schools and has dedicated over ten years of service in the areas of urban education, special education, and multicultural education with a focus on Africana studies.
Bonita Adeeb is a teacher in Charles County, Maryland.
Hassan Adeeb is a teacher in Charles County, Maryland.
Charlene Brooks graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a degree in Information Systems. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Instructional Design at the University of Maryland, University College.
Mbye Cham is chairman of the department of African Studies at Howard University, Washington, DC. He holds a Ph.D and M.A. In African Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a M.A. in French from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a B.A. in French from Temple University, and course work from Université de Besançon, France and Université de Dakar, Senegal.
Janice Fridie is a graduate of Maryland University, with a Master’s in Library and Information Services. She holds a J.D. from Georgetown University’s Law Center where her course emphasis was in International Law. She worked as a Children’s Librarian for the Laurel Public Library, helping to create an after-school reading club and participating in the school outreach project. She helped found the Friends Community School, a K-8 primary school now located in Greenbelt, Maryland. Ms. Fridie is licensed to practice in Maryland.
Linda Crichlow White is a school library media specialist at Parkland Middle School in Rockville, Maryland. Linda has an MS in Human Ecology from Howard University and an MLS from Catholic University. As an undergraduate she traveled to West Africa with Operation Crossroads Africa, an education and cultural exchange program. Since then, she has traveled to the African continent many times and has been focused on (properly) educating young people and adults about African traditions and cultures. The founder of Crossroads Rev. James Robinson said “Crossroaders go to Africa not to teach but to learn.” This has been one of Linda’s value’s ever since.