Thelma Wells, Founder, Black National Speakers Association

Our History

  • In 1987, a small group of Black professional members of the National Speakers Association gathered to discuss the industry’s challenges specific to speakers of color.
  • Thelma Wells was driving force behind early gatherings.
  • Early on, BlackNSA members gathered informally during the NSA National Convention, later becoming a scheduled conference event.
  • 1993 was the official year recognizing BlackNSA as a group representing Black speakers.


Our Pioneers

Legacy Builders of the Organization

John Austin
Lenora Billings-Harris
Major Benjamin Brooks
Les Brown
Tracy Brown
Michael Chapman
Ivory Dorsey
Dr. Tina Dupree
Dr. Gloria Jo Floyd

Debra Gould
Dovie Gray
Keith Harrell
Cathy Harris
Rosemary Horner
Norm Hull
Dr. Willie Jolley
Zemira Jones
Dr. Willie Larkin

Nancy Lewis
Ann McNeill
Michelle Porchia
Ed Robinson
Daisy Saunders
Hattie Hill Stork
Carole Copeland Thomas
Thelma Wells
Desi Williamson


To ensure every Black speaker who wanted to grow their business and share their message could find a place to share it and have support from others.

Become a part of the next generation of Black Global Speakers when you become a member of BlackNSA. 

As a member, you’ll gain access to a supportive community of speakers of color worldwide, as well as expert resources and mentorship programs designed to help you succeed.