In July 1969 he went for the first time to Africa for the Pan African Festival in Algiers where many black American militants were living. On this occasion he recorded Live for Byg the first of six albums in the Actual series. In 1969 he began teaching Ethnomusicology at the University of Amherst, Massachusetts; at the same time he continued to travel around the world while continuing to express his identity as an African American musician.
The dictionary of Jazz (Robert Laffont, Bouquins) defines him in the following way: «A first rate artist and intellectual, Archie Shepp has been at the head of the Avant- Garde Free Jazz movement and has been able to join the mainstream of Jazz, while remaining true to his esthetic. He has developed a true poli-instrumentality: an alto player, he also plays soprano since 1969, piano since 1975 and more recently occasionally sings blues and standards.»