CAAGS mission is to foster genealogical research and documentation through presentations at local, state and national conferences and seminars, offering of educational classes, and the publication of sound genealogical research.
- To encourage and support the utilization of genealogy as a tool for Americans to become aware of their history, heritage and self worth.
- To encourage the collection, preservation and maintenance of African American genealogical materials at various libraries, museums and other repositories as the Society deems appropriate.
- To stimulate the membership and the general public to research, study, and record their family histories.
- To promote and maintain ethical standards in genealogical research and publication.
In 1985, James Dent Walker (1928 - 1993), Edgar F. Love (1919 - 2009), and Lonnie G. Bunch III recognized the need for African American genealogists and family historians in Los Angeles to network with one another. James Dent Walker was the founder and served as president of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society in Washington, D.C. Dr. Edgar Love was a Southern California college/university educator. Dr. Lonnie Bunch was the first curator at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, and is currently the Director of the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
They collaborated and collectively, their vision led to the formation of the California African American Genealogical Society (CAAGS). The first meeting was held on March 23, 1986 at the California African American Museum.
The Society was officially incorporated in March 1992 and is a non-profit 501(3)(c) tax exempt organization. Dr. George Jenkins designed CAAGS’ logo.