SCHOMBURG CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN BLACK CULTURE

Sep 15

Claude McKay, Jamaican-American writer and poet, was born on this day, September 15, 1889. Jamaican born McKay moved to Harlem, after studying the Tuskegee Institute and Kansas State College, when he published some of his first collections of poetry and became a prominent literary artist in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance. Amongst the four novels he authored, “Banjo” was a best seller and won the Harmon Gold Award for Literature. “Harlem Shadows,” a collection of poetry written in 1922, was one of the first books published during the Harlem Renaissance. McKay wrote about social and political issues from the black point of view in the United States. He also wrote about love, life in Jamaica and a wide range of subjects he felt were relevant to the time. 

Image: NYPL Digital Collections 

Claude McKay, Jamaican-American writer and poet, was born on this day, September 15, 1889. Jamaican born McKay moved to Harlem, after studying the Tuskegee Institute and Kansas State College, when he published some of his first collections of poetry and became a prominent literary artist in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance. Amongst the four novels he authored, “Banjo” was a best seller and won the Harmon Gold Award for Literature. “Harlem Shadows,” a collection of poetry written in 1922, was one of the first books published during the Harlem Renaissance. McKay wrote about social and political issues from the black point of view in the United States. He also wrote about love, life in Jamaica and a wide range of subjects he felt were relevant to the time. 

Image: NYPL Digital Collections 

Sep 13

Alain LeRoy Locke, philosopher, writer, and educator, was born on this date, September 13, 1886, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Locke went to Harvard and was the first African American to win the Rhodes Scholarship. He went to Oxford University for philosophy and received his doctorate from Harvard in 1918. Locke then became a professor of philosophy and literature at Howard University. Throughout his life, Locke encouraged African American artists and writers such as Zora Neale Hurston. Locke also wrote about the African and African American experience and identity, and the Harlem Renaissance. He published “The New Negro” in 1925, an anthology of poetry, essays and fiction on African and African American art and literature, which contains the portrait of Alain LeRoy Locke by Winold Reiss pictured. Locke is known as “The Father of the Harlem Renaissance.”

Image: NYPL Digital Collections 

Alain LeRoy Locke, philosopher, writer, and educator, was born on this date, September 13, 1886, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Locke went to Harvard and was the first African American to win the Rhodes Scholarship. He went to Oxford University for philosophy and received his doctorate from Harvard in 1918. Locke then became a professor of philosophy and literature at Howard University. Throughout his life, Locke encouraged African American artists and writers such as Zora Neale Hurston. Locke also wrote about the African and African American experience and identity, and the Harlem Renaissance. He published “The New Negro” in 1925, an anthology of poetry, essays and fiction on African and African American art and literature, which contains the portrait of Alain LeRoy Locke by Winold Reiss pictured. Locke is known as “The Father of the Harlem Renaissance.”

Image: NYPL Digital Collections 

Sep 12

Going Home, Coming Home: Remembering
Extended through January 3, 2015Going Home, Coming Home: Remembering is a memorial dedication that honors seven African and African American legends, whose lives have impacted humankind throughout the world. They all have influenced, inspired and supported our humanity globally, but especially and particularly in Harlem, USA, where the Schomburg Center is a satellite, a landmark institution, a safe haven and a home for all peoples of African descent.All of the individual honorees, including Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, Amiri Baraka, Vincent Harding, Elombe Brath and Cheryll Greene, knew and did great works; these have been documented and archived in the collections at the Schomburg Center. The memorial dedication includes art, photographs, manuscripts, rare documents, books, publications and video clips that memorialize the seven who died during the past year, with contributions from the Schomburg Center’s Divisions: Art and Artifacts Division, Manuscripts and Rare Books Division, JBH Research and Reference Division, Moving Images and Recorded Sounds Division, and Public Engagements & Strategic Initiatives Division.For more information click here. 

Going Home, Coming Home: Remembering

Extended through January 3, 2015

Going Home, Coming Home: Remembering is a memorial dedication that honors seven African and African American legends, whose lives have impacted humankind throughout the world. They all have influenced, inspired and supported our humanity globally, but especially and particularly in Harlem, USA, where the Schomburg Center is a satellite, a landmark institution, a safe haven and a home for all peoples of African descent.

All of the individual honorees, including Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, Amiri Baraka, Vincent Harding, Elombe Brath and Cheryll Greene, knew and did great works; these have been documented and archived in the collections at the Schomburg Center. The memorial dedication includes art, photographs, manuscripts, rare documents, books, publications and video clips that memorialize the seven who died during the past year, with contributions from the Schomburg Center’s Divisions: Art and Artifacts Division, Manuscripts and Rare Books Division, JBH Research and Reference Division, Moving Images and Recorded Sounds Division, and Public Engagements & Strategic Initiatives Division.

For more information click here

Livestream: A Celebration of the Life of Maya Angelou -

One hour away! A Celebration of the Life of Maya Angelou, streamed live from The Riverside Church starting at 11am.

Sep 10

Friday, September 12 at 11:00 a.m.
The Riverside Church 
490 Riverside Drive, New York, N.Y.

The family of Dr. Maya Angelou, Random House, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Center for Black Literature invite you to a Celebration of the Life of Maya Angelou. Taking place at The Riverside Church, the service will feature tributes and reflections from family, friends, and writers who were influenced by her outstanding life and work.

Doors open to the public at 10:00 a.m. Limited seating. First come, first served.
Watch Live!

Friday, September 12 at 11:00 a.m.

The Riverside Church 

490 Riverside Drive, New York, N.Y.

The family of Dr. Maya Angelou, Random House, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Center for Black Literature invite you to a Celebration of the Life of Maya Angelou. Taking place at The Riverside Church, the service will feature tributes and reflections from family, friends, and writers who were influenced by her outstanding life and work.

Doors open to the public at 10:00 a.m. Limited seating. First come, first served.

Watch Live!

Question Bridge: Black Males
September 19, 2014 to January 3, 2015

Question Bridge is an innovative transmedia project that facilitates a dialogue between a critical mass of black men from diverse and contending backgrounds: and creates a platform for them to represent and redefine black male identity in America.
The process is straightforward: on video, a black man poses a question to another man they feel estranged from. A black man representing that difference records his answer. These exchanges create a Question Bridge, a media-based forum for necessary, honest expression and healing dialogue on themes that divide, unite, and puzzle black males in the United States. The project powerfully exposes the incredible diversity of thought, character, and identity within the black American male demographic, breaking the traditional view of a monolithic identity. The vulnerability and generosity of participants produce complex, whole, and authentic images of black men not commonly available in American media. 
The project’s multi-platform approach has four integrated components: art, education, community engagement, and digital media.
For more information visit: http://on.nypl.org/1q8OqjZ
Also visit: http://beta.questionbridge.com/

Question Bridge: Black Males

September 19, 2014 to January 3, 2015

Question Bridge is an innovative transmedia project that facilitates a dialogue between a critical mass of black men from diverse and contending backgrounds: and creates a platform for them to represent and redefine black male identity in America.

The process is straightforward: on video, a black man poses a question to another man they feel estranged from. A black man representing that difference records his answer. These exchanges create a Question Bridge, a media-based forum for necessary, honest expression and healing dialogue on themes that divide, unite, and puzzle black males in the United States. The project powerfully exposes the incredible diversity of thought, character, and identity within the black American male demographic, breaking the traditional view of a monolithic identity. The vulnerability and generosity of participants produce complex, whole, and authentic images of black men not commonly available in American media. 

The project’s multi-platform approach has four integrated components: art, education, community engagement, and digital media.

For more information visit: http://on.nypl.org/1q8OqjZ

Also visit: http://beta.questionbridge.com/

Sep 09

American Policing: The War on Black Bodies by Schomburg Center -

American Policing: The War on Black Bodies is happening now!

Join us on Livestream at: http://bit.ly/1lDryJz. Tweet using #SchomburgLive. Questions on twitter have a chance of being discussed live! Be a part of the conversation. Let’s talk about it.

For more information about this event, click here.

American Policing: The War on Black Bodies by Schomburg Center -

Just an hour away from American Policing: The War on Black Bodies.

Join us in a town hall discussion that will be streamed live at 6:30PM. Tweet your comments and questions using #SchomburgLive for a chance to have your question discussed live tonight.

For more information Click Here

i found god in myself: The 40th Anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls
September 19, 2014 to January 3, 2015Since its debut performance in California in 1974, Shange’s work has captivated, provoked, inspired and transformed audiences all over the world. Turning to the choreopoem not simply as an engaging work of text or drama but as a well of social, political and deeply personal issues affecting the lives of women of color, the exhibition will feature 20 specially commissioned pieces in honor of each individual poem, additional non-commissioned artworks on display at satellite locations that address the work’s themes and archival material donated by Shange.The exhibition’s title is drawn from one of the last lines recited in the finale poem a laying on of hands. The title suggests that navigating through the complexities of what it means to be of color and female is only enlightened by an understanding, acceptance and appreciation of self. With self-empowerment comes the process of “…moving to the ends of their own rainbows.” By presenting visual works from both women and men, all races and various generations, i found god in myself explores the universality inherent in Shange’s powerful message to the world.A series of spoken word performances, screenings, panels, a community art project and a guided art crawl will accompany the exhibitionFor more information click here. 

i found god in myself: The 40th Anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls

September 19, 2014 to January 3, 2015

Since its debut performance in California in 1974, Shange’s work has captivated, provoked, inspired and transformed audiences all over the world. Turning to the choreopoem not simply as an engaging work of text or drama but as a well of social, political and deeply personal issues affecting the lives of women of color, the exhibition will feature 20 specially commissioned pieces in honor of each individual poem, additional non-commissioned artworks on display at satellite locations that address the work’s themes and archival material donated by Shange.

The exhibition’s title is drawn from one of the last lines recited in the finale poem a laying on of hands. The title suggests that navigating through the complexities of what it means to be of color and female is only enlightened by an understanding, acceptance and appreciation of self. With self-empowerment comes the process of “…moving to the ends of their own rainbows.” By presenting visual works from both women and men, all races and various generations, i found god in myself explores the universality inherent in Shange’s powerful message to the world.

A series of spoken word performances, screenings, panels, a community art project and a guided art crawl will accompany the exhibition

For more information click here

Sep 06

Don’t miss American Policing: The War on Black Bodies, streamed live on Tuesday, September 9 at 6:30 P.M.
Be part of the conversation! Tweet your questions and comments now using #SchomburgLive for a chance to have your question discussed live on Tuesday. Click here for the Livestream link.
Image: Terrence Jennings

Don’t miss American Policing: The War on Black Bodies, streamed live on Tuesday, September 9 at 6:30 P.M.

Be part of the conversation! Tweet your questions and comments now using #SchomburgLive for a chance to have your question discussed live on Tuesday. Click here for the Livestream link.

Image: Terrence Jennings

The Slave Route
On view through October 18, 2014
The Schomburg Center’s Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery presents The Slave Route, a flash display of artifacts, documents, and photographs marking the 20th anniversary of The Slave Route Project, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s worldwide initiative “to break the silence” about the slave trade and slavery. From shackles  to a runaway slave advertisement, from letters by Toussaint L’Ouverture and Frederick Douglass to a bill of sale from Peru, these items from our collections trace or symbolize some of the routes taken by Africans in the Americas.
To learn more about the slave trade and slavery, please visit
In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience
The Abolition of the Slave Trade: The Forgotten Story
The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World 
The African Burial Ground
Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery
Unesco’s Slave Route Project

The Slave Route

On view through October 18, 2014

The Schomburg Center’s Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery presents The Slave Route, a flash display of artifacts, documents, and photographs marking the 20th anniversary of The Slave Route Project, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s worldwide initiative “to break the silence” about the slave trade and slavery. From shackles  to a runaway slave advertisement, from letters by Toussaint L’Ouverture and Frederick Douglass to a bill of sale from Peru, these items from our collections trace or symbolize some of the routes taken by Africans in the Americas.

To learn more about the slave trade and slavery, please visit

Sep 05

On this date, September 5, 1960, poet and politician Léopold Sédar Senghor is elected President of Senegal. Senghor was born October 9, 1906 in Joal, Senegal. Senghor was the first African agrégé. He also founded the Sengalese Democratic Bloc. Senghor would later be re-elected for president in 1963. He is known as one of the greatest African intellectuals and a founder of the Négritude movement.

On this date, September 5, 1960, poet and politician Léopold Sédar Senghor is elected President of Senegal. Senghor was born October 9, 1906 in Joal, Senegal. Senghor was the first African agrégé. He also founded the Sengalese Democratic Bloc. Senghor would later be re-elected for president in 1963. He is known as one of the greatest African intellectuals and a founder of the Négritude movement.

Sep 04

Ordinary People: Alexis De Veaux
Tuesday, September 30 at 6:30 p.m.Come hear the extraordinary poet and biographer Alexis De Veaux read from her new work of fiction, Yabo. After the reading, De Veaux will be joined with special guests to discuss her work and her impact in the literary, women’s, and black lesbian cultures.
For more information and to register, click here.

Ordinary People: Alexis De Veaux

Tuesday, September 30 at 6:30 p.m.

Come hear the extraordinary poet and biographer Alexis De Veaux read from her new work of fiction, Yabo. After the reading, De Veaux will be joined with special guests to discuss her work and her impact in the literary, women’s, and black lesbian cultures.

For more information and to register, click here.

Sep 03

"Celebrate Sonia!" The 80th Birthday Celebration for Sis. Sonia Sanchez
Friday, September 19, 6:00 p.m. at Medgar Evers CollegeThe Schomburg is teaming up with the Center for Black Literature; AKILA WORKSONGS; Arts+Crafts, Inc.; and African Voices Magazine to throw a special birthday party for the beloved world renowned poet, humanitarian, scholar, and activist Sonia Sanchez. For more information about the location and how to purchase tickets, click here.

"Celebrate Sonia!" The 80th Birthday Celebration for Sis. Sonia Sanchez

Friday, September 19, 6:00 p.m. at Medgar Evers College

The Schomburg is teaming up with the Center for Black Literature; AKILA WORKSONGS; Arts+Crafts, Inc.; and African Voices Magazine to throw a special birthday party for the beloved world renowned poet, humanitarian, scholar, and activist Sonia Sanchez.

For more information about the location and how to purchase tickets, click here.

Sep 02

American Policing: The War on Black Bodies
Tuesday, September 9 at 6:30 p.m.Join the Schomburg Center for a town hall meeting on the aggressive policing of black bodies in America. The event will offer a forum to discuss police brutality, racial discrimination, stop and frisk policies, and the responses of media and local communities regarding Michael Brown, Eric Garner and others in recent news. For more information and registration, click this link.

American Policing: The War on Black Bodies

Tuesday, September 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Join the Schomburg Center for a town hall meeting on the aggressive policing of black bodies in America. The event will offer a forum to discuss police brutality, racial discrimination, stop and frisk policies, and the responses of media and local communities regarding Michael Brown, Eric Garner and others in recent news.

For more information and registration, click this link.