The Benjamin Banneker Association (BBA) was founded by seven insightful, concerned, and courageous African-American mathematics educators. Benjamin Dudley, Edgar Edwards, Jr., William Greer, Harriett Haynes, Marie Jernigan, Genevieve Knight, and Dorothy Strong decided that there was a significant need for a forum to discuss the success and problems of the learning and teaching of mathematics concerning African-American children. learning and teaching of mathematics concerning African-American children. The initial activities were in an Interaction Laboratory and a Breakfast in conjunction with NCTM Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in 1986. The Interaction Laboratory provided an opportunity for mathematics educators to meet and listen to outstanding educators who had devoted their lives to enhancing the education of African-American children. These two activities have become the cornerstone of the activities of the Association – definitely major BBA events at the Annual NCTM Meetings. At that time, the group was called "The Black Mathematics Educators."
In 1987, the second year of the Annual Breakfast and Interactions Lab, the group was called "The Benjamin Banneker Association of Black Mathematics Educators." The membership approved the Benjamin Banneker Association Constitution in April 1990 in Salt Lake City. The Association was incorporated on January 29, 1991, and installed in New Orleans in April of that year. Dorothy Strong of Chicago, IL, served as the first President, Marie Jernigan of Gary, IN, was the first Secretary, and Lee Stiff of Raleigh, NC, was the first BBA Treasurer. Harriet Haynes of New York City, NY, Harriet Taylor of Durham, NC, Earl Leggette of Jackson, MS, and Beatrice Moore-Luchin of San Antonio, TX, was the first elected regional representatives. The Benjamin Banneker Association is today a major force in the mathematics education community in North America.
In its role of advocacy for African American children, at all levels, for the learning and teaching of mathematics, The Association is continuously widening its sphere of influence and activity.