The Birmingham Association of Black Journalists was founded in 1983 by a group of media professionals who wanted to encourage the employment and retention of journalists of color, provide opportunities for professional development and offer scholarships and guidance to students considering careers in the media.
The initial group of members included professionals from print and broadcast news. It later grew to include those in public relations and other related fields.
BABJ has increased its membership over the years from a group of twelve that could fit at a table in the Birmingham Press Club, to an organization of more than 50 media professionals.
BABJ has hosted three regional NABJ conventions. The first was in 1987, before the organization was officially affiliated with NABJ. The second was in 1994, the third in 2002. Also, three BABJ members have served on the NABJ Board of directors.
BABJ has awarded academic scholarships to several young journalism students. The organization also has awarded professional development scholarships to college students desiring to enhance their skills by attending NABJ, Associated Press and National Association of Broadcasters events.
Today, BABJ continues to hold a position of prominence. Its members are involved in almost every facet of the local media.