As a follow-up to the recent post – NAAB Annual Report on Architectural Education, we thought we would share data on African American architects.

If you did not already know, the best resource is The Directory of African American Architects.  Established many years ago (early 1990s), the Directory is maintained as a public service to promote an awareness of who African American architects are and where they are located.  The sole qualification for listing is licensure in one of the fifty U.S. jurisdictions and their territories (Directory).

The Directory of African-American Architects – hosted by NOMA


As the directory is a living document, always being updated.  As of today, there 2325 licensed African American Architects in the database; of males, there are 1,847 and of females, there are 478.  But there is more.

I refer to my professional friend, Katherine Williams and the work she has done over the years on analyzing the data from the directory.  Below is her full post from March 2020; below are excerpts highlighted from her post.

AA architects: the numbers 2019

“…Likewise, the positives in the economy did not translate into an increase in the number of African-Americans that earned their architecture license. According to the Directory of African American Architects (DAA)**, 39 African-Americans were licensed in 2019. This 46% decrease is sharply down from 71 in 2018 and staggering compared to the 2% decrease NCARB saw. If we believe NCARB’S conclusion, then the new exam version seems to be greatly affecting the pass rates of this group much more than others.

The DAA had a total of 2,306 living African-American licensed architects at the end of 2019. Broken down by gender, the registry had 470 women and 1836 men. This number is woefully small considering that NCARB reported that a whopping 4,981 candidates completed their exams just in 2018.

African American licensure numbers show steady, increase, but still hover around 2% of the approximate 115,316 total architects licensed in the US. We have a long way to go before the number is on par with the population of the African-American population in the US currently at 14%. Additionally, the percentage has remained around 2% despite NCARB data showing that all exam completions for architects has nearly doubled in that same time period.”

As well as this insight from 2019, Ms. Williams has analysis from the last ten years, all available from her blog as listed below.

As stated, it is important for ALL in the architecture profession to be aware of this data.  In this case, what can YOU do to increase the percentage of African-Americans entering the profession?

Source: Directory of African American Architects (2020) –

Katherine Williams –


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