ASLA Celebrates Black History Month 2020


Walter Hood, ASLA, designed Witness Walls, composed of two different types of concrete walls, one with soft, impressionistic imagery and the other with sharper image contrasts. Photo Credit: Stacey Irvin.

 Landscape of Honor: Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.

This year, ASLA celebrated African American landscape architects, landscapes of honor, and the rich history of contributions made by African Americans within the profession and to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Celebrations included a rebroadcast of the 2019 Annual Conference session Decolonizing Design: Black Narratives in Landscape Architecture with members Breeze Outlaw, ASLA, Ujijji Davis, ASLA, and Marc Miller, ASLA, a documentary film viewing event featuring Claiming Open Spaces produced and directed by Austin Allen held in the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture, and an engaging social media campaign recognizing notable African American landscape architects past and present.

Landscape architecture is the one profession with the power to offer a unique visual balance between meaning, remembrance and aesthetics in public spaces. They utilize powerful elements that coalesce in the form of parks, statues, plagues and other living testaments to a period of history, a person or philosophy. These memorial experiences educate the viewer while creating tangible experience with the past. They function as learning tools for teachers and sources of inspiration and celebration to all who see, touch and experience the presence of their past. Learn how landscape architects introduce new ways to approach memorial design in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Learn more on the Landscapes of Honors webpage.


I Am A Man Plaza, Cliff Garten Studio. Photo Credit: Jeremy Green

African American Leadership in ASLA

Perry Howard, FASLAPerry Howard, FASLA  

Perry Howard, FASLA - First African-American President of the American Society of Landscape Architects, 2007-2008

ASLA News: Top Seven Things You Should Know about Perry Howard, FASLA

North Carolina A&T State University has the only undergraduate landscape architecture program at a Historically Black College or University. Perry Howard served as its Program Coordinator and Professor of Landscape Architecture for 25 years before retiring in 2014. He has served in many capacities in North Carolina and Florida for the American Society of Landscape Architects including the 2008 President, making him the only African American that served in this position. Before his teaching career started in 1989, Mr. Howard was a Vice-President in the Landscape Architecture and Planning firm of EDSA in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he designed large parks and new communities. Perry received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from The Harvard University Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. He became a Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1995.

Edward Lyons PryceEdward Lyons Pryce  

Edward L. Pryce, FASLA, First African-American ASLA Fellow

Read more about Pryce:

Amy Bryan, Caroline Gebhard, and Teresa Valencia, “Sculpting with Spirit: Landscape Architect Edward Pryce Turns to Art to Explore His Heritage,” Landscape Architecture 94, no. 12 (December 2004): 116-117. Read at JSTOR.

Jo Kellum, “Designing His Own Path: Edward L. Pryce’s Life Is Testimony to Private Determination,” Landscape Architecture 89, no. 5 (May 1999): 138-139, Read at JSTOR.

Kirk Muckle, “Njala University College: Edward Pryce’s Democratic Plan,” Landscape Architecture 74, no. 4 (July/August 1984): 78-81, Read at JSTOR.

The Cultural Landscape Foundation, Edward Lyons Pryce, Pioneer

David Williston

One of the first African American landscape architects, Williston designed some of the major campuses of historically African American colleges like Booker T. Washington’s Tuskeegee Institute and Howard University in Washington, D.C.

David Williston

A New Look at the Trail Blazing David Williston, The DIRT

ASLA Awards Highlights

Past ASLA coverage of Black History Month and other National Heritage Months can be accessed on ASLA's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion webpage.

Student Awards

Professional Awards


  • Diane Jones Allen    Community Service Award, 2016
  • Perry Howard    President’s Medal, 2012

Articles of Interest

About Black History Month

Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month in the U.S., is an annual observance in Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It began as a way for remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora.

Meet the man who created Black History Month.      



ASLA General Inquiries:

ASLA Center Event
Space Inquiries: 
Kelli Bland

PR Inquiries:

Diversity, Equity,
and Inclusion
Lisa Jennings
Manager, Career Discovery
and Diversity

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