Political science began in the late nineteenth century as an explicitly racist discipline. Although this changed in the twentieth century, mainstream scholars then neglected racial politics and issues in America for too long. NCOBPS originated in 1969 as part of efforts of scholars of color to address these deficiencies. Throughout its history, it has done so. NCOBPS has fostered more insightful scholarship on a wide range of topics, including their racial dimensions. It has helped to develop leadership skills that have benefited the discipline as a whole. And it has nurtured an activist-scholar ethos that has helped the discipline do a better job of listening to, and benefiting, the populations it studies. The NCOBPS-APSA partnership has grown much stronger over the last half-century; it will need to be cultivated further if the discipline is to confront constructively the intellectual and political challenges it faces in the twenty-first century.

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