Brenda Randolph, Founder and President

Brenda Randolph, 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 school library media specialist in Virginia (2 years), Massachusetts (3 years) and Maryland (22 years). In the 1960s Ms. Randolph co-founded the Southern Africa Relief Fund to provide humanitarian relief for Africans struggling against Apartheid and other forms of colonial oppression. In the early 1980s Ms. Randolph created the Title VI African Studies Resource Center at Howard University. In 1989, she founded Africa Access, to help schools and libraries identify quality, non-stereotypical books about Africa. In 1991, she created the Children’s Africana Book Awards in collaboration with the African Studies Association’s Title VI Outreach Programs.  Ms. Randolph was a major contributor to Sankofa Journal: a Journal of Children’s and Young Adult Literature, a peer-reviewed journal edited by Meena Khorana, Ph.D. and published annually by the Department of English and Language Arts at Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland. In 2014, Ms. Randolph created Discover Africa in the Americas now Discover Africa in the World , an online database of Africa-related sites in the African Diaspora. In 2018 she envisioned the Gold Road, an interactive website to teach about medieval West Africa. With colleagues Vanessa Oyugi, Ania Uneo, Elsa Wiehe and Balance Studio The Gold Road, was launched in 2020. Both Discover Africa in the World and The Gold Road are hosted by the Center for African Studies at Howard University.  Ms. Randolph has received numerous awards for innovative work promoting the cause of African Studies in the K-12 community including:  Francois Manchuelle Award (2001), National Outreach Council Award of Appreciation (2007),  African Studies Award for Public Service  (2016). Activist Award from the National Coalition Against Censorship (2021). In 2022 she received the Distinguished Africanist Award from the African Studies Association in recognition of a lifetime dedication to African Studies, teaching and mentorship.  Ms. Randolph currently serves as the Co-Outreach Director of the Center for African Studies at Howard University.

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 Museum of African Art.

Robert Edgar, Chairman of the Board

Robert Edgar is professor emeritus 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.

Mbye Cham

Mbye Cham is former 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.