In April 1969, approximately thirty-five black political scientists gathered at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to discuss the problems faced by persons teaching political science at historically black colleges and universities. The group reconvened in September of that year at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in New York in September of that year. It was the consensus of this now broader group that the problems facing black political scientists, independent of their geographical location or institution, were sufficiently similar to warrant establishment of a national organization. Consequently, the persons present at this September 1969 meeting voted to establish themselves as the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS). The organization's first Annual Meeting was held at Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA in May 1970.
The National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS) is organized to study, enhance, and promote the political aspirations of people of African descent in the United States and throughout the world. It aims to contribute to the resolution of the many challenges that black people confront. Our organization promotes research in and critical analysis of topics usually overlooked and/or marginalized in political science scholarship. We believe that our scholarship must address wide-ranging "real world” issues and not the narrow, and often manufactured, concerns of the discipline.
NCOBPS has over 400 active members representing colleges, universities, non-profit organizations, government relations and political campaign firms, and local, national, and state public sector agencies. Our collective membership teaches an estimated 1,000 undergraduate and graduate courses per year, with an average class size of 20 students, which amounts to contact with about 20,000 students.
NCOPBS also has a long tradition of identifying, mentoring, and supporting students interested in political science, including areas of political communication, public policy and administration, public affairs, comparative politics, and international relations. We offer scholarships, fellowships, and research awards to undergraduate and graduate students, and provide many activities for students to network and collaborate with faculty and practitioners of political science.