There is a direct correlation between Black America’s seemingly intractable and unacceptably low levels of home, property and business ownership and net wealth as a group – and Black America’s thus far failure to collectively re-engage in physically building things, particularly shelter, housing, communities, and even new cities. Black architects may not be responsible for this but today they possess the possibility of moving to the forefront of Black America’s dire need to start building things.

— Melvin L. Mitchell, FAIA, NCARB

Architect, Professor, Real Estate Developer, Urbanist and Author of…

The Author of “The Crisis of the African American Architect”, Melvin L. Mitchell, FAIA, returns with his second volume, a call to action, for the average Black American person, namely the one standing in line waiting to go into the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture, inspired to go home and learn how to build buildings and communities of their own.

In just under 200 pages that include over 200 photo images, Mitchell takes us on a journey from the creation of Booker T. Washington’s Tuskgee Institute and its role in the early days of Black Architecture in the United States, through Mitchell’s early years as an architectural drafter, student, project manager, developer and professor, to other key figures in African-American architecture– past, present, and future. He ends with a call to action and solutions for future Black community builders of all kind, not just architects, to continue to build and create or else risk the complete loss of the Black community as we know it.

Mitchell’s book reveals elements of history through the lens of the Black experience that have been hidden in plain sight, almost as if in a parallel universe to mainstream, conventional understandings. Not only should it be required reading among the broader architectural community, but would be useful if introduced as a standard text within our educational systems, from primary through advanced learning institutions.

R. Steven Lewis, FAIA, NOMAC Thinking Leadership

You can purchase a copy at the following retailers




Barnes and Noble

Books A Million


Other independent bookstores





Industry professionals and press: request a review copy!

Listen to Mel talk about his book below, along with several other of his colleagues, friends, and mentees.

On the Future of Black Urbanism– Chapter 9 Annotated and Read by Melvin L. Mitchell. June 3. 2020