AAWIP was conceived by Jami Valentine when she was a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University.
“As the only African American in the department at the time, I felt very isolated. I wanted to know that there were other Black women who had done this before me.”
She began to keep track of all of the African American Women physicists that she met and searched the internet for them.
The first incarnation of this website was Black Women in Physics (BWIP) hosted on Hopkins servers. The content was mirrored on the National Society of Black Physicists (nsbp.org) site for some time, but eventually the decision was made to make the site independent.
In 2014, graduate student Jessica Tucker joined the team and helps with maintaining and analyzing the collected information. Valentine and Tucker presented a comparative analysis of the data at the 2015 NSBP Annual meeting.