Past Winners of the National AAHGS Awards

The AAHGS Awards has a storied history of distinguished award winners.  Since 1982, we have recognized those individuals, groups, or organizations who have made a significant contribution in the furtherance of the AAHGS mission to preserve African-ancestored family history, genealogy, and cultural diversity.


2020 Award Winners

James Dent Walker Award - Nikole Hannah-Jones

Jean Sampson Meritorious Achievement Award - Nichelle Smith

Elizabeth Clark-Lewis Genealogy Award

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson

Nicka Sewell-Smith - Elizabeth Clark-Lewis

Distinguished Service Award - Zann Nelson

Marsha M. Greenlee, History Award - Ron Armstead

Certificate of Appreciation

USA Today 1619 Team

  • Deborah Barfield Berry

  • Jarrad Henderson

  • Shawn Sullivan

On-the-Spot Award - Toni Byrd-Vann

2019 Award Winners

James Dent Walker Award - Sharon Morgan

Paul Edward Sluby, Sr./Jean Sampson-Scott Award - Paul Heinegg

Elizabeth Clark-Lewis, Genealogy Award - Bernice Bennett

Distinguished Service Award - Calvin Pearson, Project 1619

Chapter of the Year Award - Agnes Kane Callum, Baltimore Chapter

Certificate of Appreciation

On-the-Spot Award - Irving Smith

2018 Award Winners

James Dent Walker Award - Charles L. Blockson

Paul Edward Sluby, Sr./Jean Sampson-Scott Award - Marvin T. Jones; and the African American Special Interest Group (AASIG)  of the Washington DC Family History Center

Elizabeth Clark-Lewis, Genealogy Award - Char McCargo Bah

Marsha M. Greenlee History Award - Mary Jackson Fears

Chapter of the Year Award - AAHGS-New England Chapter

Certificate of Appreciation - Nathania Branch-Miles; Franklin Carter Smith; and Julia Porter

On-the-Spot Award - Selma Stewart

2017 Award Winner

Paul Edward Sluby, Sr./Jean Sampson-Scott Award-Robyn N. Smith

Stella M. Pierce, New England Chapter - President's Award

2016 Award Winners

James Dent Walker Award- Lonnie G. Bunch, III

Paul Edward Sluby, Sr./Jean Sampson-Scott Award-Melvin J. Collier

Elizabeth Clark-Lewis, Genealogy Award-Ric Murphy and Jerome Spears

Marsha M. Greenlee History Award- Margo Lee Williams

Chapter of the Year Award-Prince George’s County of Maryland AAHGS Chapter

Certificate of Appreciation-Robert L. Wimberly, Sr.

On-the-Spot Award- Clifford Winbush


2015 Awards

President’s:  Gene Stephenson, Sherri Camp


2014 Awards

James Dent Walker: Roland Barksdale-Hall

Distinguished National Service Award: Sylvia Cooke Martin, Edwin Washington Jr.

Education: Vernon Scott

Chapter of the Year: Central Maryland

Certificates of Appreciation: Sonya Hodges, Lyndra Marshall; Harry B. and the Late Pamela L. Matthews


2013 Awards

James Dent Walker:  Cmdr. William Nolden Henderson

President’s: Roland Barksdale-Hall  

Genealogy:  Joyce Higgins and Erwin D. Polk

National Distinguished Service: Roland Barksdale-Hall and William Quinn Oscar Shelton;

James Dent Walker (posthumously)

Sluby Meritorious Service:  Drs. Alvin D. and Gayle Jackson

Scott Meritorious Service:  Henriette Cain

On-the-Spot: Shelley Murphy

Certificates of Appreciation:  Shelley Murphy, Drusilla Pair, Angela Walton-Raji, Julia Porter

Chapter of the Year:  AAHGS-Prince George’s    


2012 Awards

James Dent Walker: Carolyn C. Rowe

Genealogy: Lyndra P. Marshall

History: Melvin J. Collier

Meritorious: Marion Woodfolk Simmons

President’s: Lucius Bowser (posthumously)

Chapter of the Year: Metro Atlanta 

On-the-Spot: Pauline Austin

Certificates of Appreciation: Rhonda Barrow, Nathania Branch Miles, Patricia Sluby, Metro Atlanta Chapter  


2011 Awards

President’s: Alice F. Harris


2008 Awards

James Dent Walker: Lillian K. Beverly

President’s: Nathania Branch Miles, Jane Taylor Thomas

Education: Joseph L. Douglas, Jr.

Meritorious: California Advocate Newspaper

Certificates of Appreciation: Willie Mae Haskin, Anthony D. Young Sr., Alondra Young, Audrey Watkins-Combs


2007 Awards

James Dent Walker: Tamela Tenpenny-Lewis

Genealogy: Jane Taylor Thomas

President’s: Charles Howard 


2006 Awards

Genealogy: Millie L. McGhee Morris

History: Anna Mae Queen Holmes, Tamela Tenpenny-Lewis

Certificates of Appreciation: Ann Wicks Carter, Charles Howard,

Audrey R. Johnson-Thornton

President’s: Khadijah Matin, Tamela Tenpenny-Lewis


2005 Awards

James Dent Walker: Lucius A. Bowser

Genealogy: Creola A. Pittman Colon

President’s: Beverly Babin Woods

Certificates of Appreciation: Pauline Robinson Drake; Willie Mae Haskin;

Denise Lancaster-Young; Aaron L. Keys, Alondra Deanna Michaela Young


2004 Awards

James Dent Walker: Agnes Kane Callum

Meritorious Service: Charles W. White

History: Beverly C. Mitchell-Foster

President’s: Richard Barnes

Genealogy and Certificate of Appreciation: Glenn D. Cunningham (Posthumously)


2003 Awards

AAHGS President Emeritus: Barbara Dodson Walker

Education: Dr. Charles Christian

History: Dr. Adele Logan Alexander, Roland Barksdale-Hall

President’s: Susan Victoria Walker

Certificate of Appreciation: Amanda Edwards


2002 Awards

James Dent Walker: Jerry M. Hynson

Genealogy: Frank Dorman

History: Marlene Bransom

President’s: Lucius A. Bowser

Certificate of Appreciation: Lorraine Miller


2001 Awards

James Dent Walker: Adlean Harris

Meritorious Achievement: Pearl-Alice Marsh, Reginald Washington

Genealogy: Roland Stead

History: Valerie Cunningham

President’s: Carolyn C. Rowe

Letter of Appreciation: Sonia Bontemps


2000 Awards

President’s:  Renee Ingram, Diane Thompkins, Edwin Bradford Washington, Jr.


1999 Awards

President’s Award (Life Memberships): Roland Mills, Sylvia Polk-Burriss 


1998 Awards

President’s Award: Elizabeth Johnson, Antonia Martin, Theresa Rector, Stephen Townsend, Margo Williams


1997 Awards

Founders Award: Elizabeth Clark-Lewis 

Distinguished Service Award: Barbara Dodson Walker 


1993 Awards

Distinguished Service Award: Minnie Shumate Woodson


1991 Awards

President’s Award: Lillie Atkinson, Gwendolyn Hackley Austin, Lynne Clark, Leroy Graham,

Ibrahim Kargbo, Sylvia Cooke Martin, Coy Robbins 


1990 Awards

President’s Award: Ophelia T. Pinkard 

Distinguished Service Award: Anthony Browder, Elizabeth Clark-Lewis


1989 Awards

President’s Award: Norman L. Peters, Jean Sampson Scott 

Distinguished Service Award: Dorothy Height, Dorothy Redford 

Superior Service Award: Fotocraft Club, Gum Springs Historical Society,

Beulah “Meach” Buckner, Lynne Clark, Sandra M. Lawson, Harry B. Matthews,

Catherine Taylor McConnell, Coy Robbins 

Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Service: Catherine McConnell 


1983 Awards

President’s Award: Patricia Carter Ives 


1982 Awards

President’s Award: Paul Edward Sluby, Sr.