1. Funk, God, Jazz & Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn →

    Funk, God, Jazz & Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn

    September 20 to October 12

    Weeksville Heritage Center [158 Buffalo Avenue & Bergen Street]

    Creative Time and Weeksville Heritage Center present “Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn,” a walkable month-long art exhibition of four community-based art commissions by Xenobia Bailey, Simone Leigh, Otabenga Jones & Associates, and Bradford Young. The Schomburg Center helped to organize several “Conversations on Self-Determination” as part of this project. 

    For more information about this exhibition and the Schomburg’s conversation series, click here

  2. Conversations in Black Freedom Studies - Education for Liberation and Freedom Schooling with Charles Payne, Brian Purnell, Ujju Aggarwal, and Nicle Burrowes.
October 2, 2014, at 6 p.m.
Schomburg Education presents this dynamic adult education series with a full line up of provocative scholars and community members committed to engaging dialogue about black freedom studies.  The Fall 2014 semester is curated by professors Jeanne Theoharis (Brooklyn College/CUNY) and Komozi Woodard (Sarah Lawrence College).
For more information and to register click here.

    Conversations in Black Freedom Studies - Education for Liberation and Freedom Schooling with Charles Payne, Brian Purnell, Ujju Aggarwal, and Nicle Burrowes.

    October 2, 2014, at 6 p.m.

    Schomburg Education presents this dynamic adult education series with a full line up of provocative scholars and community members committed to engaging dialogue about black freedom studies.  The Fall 2014 semester is curated by professors Jeanne Theoharis (Brooklyn College/CUNY) and Komozi Woodard (Sarah Lawrence College).

    For more information and to register click here.

  3. THROUGH A LENS DARKLY: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People →

    Held Over Through Tuesday, September 23

    Location: Film Forum [209 West Houston St., New York, NY.]

    For more information, click here.  

    THROUGH A LENS DARKLY is inspired by the book Reflections in Black by Deborah Willis, co-producer of the film and former curator of Photographs and Prints at the Schomburg Center. THROUGH A LENS DARKLY  ”casts a broad net that begins with filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris’s family album. It considers the difference between black photographers who use the camera to define themselves, their people, and their culture and some white photographers who, historically, have demeaned African-Americans through racist imagery. The film embraces both historical material (African-Americans who were slaves, who fought in the Civil War, were victims of lynchings, or were pivotal in the Civil Rights Movement) and contemporary images made by such luminaries as Roy DeCarava, Gordon Parks, and Carrie Mae Weems. The film is a cornucopia of Americana that reveals deeply disturbing truths about the history of race relations while expressing joyous, life-affirming sentiments about the ability of artists and amateurs alike to assert their identity through the photographic lens.”

  4. On this date, September 18, 1980, Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez became the first Cuban citizen, first Latin American and first person of African ancestry to travel in space. 
Tamayo Méndez was born in Guantánamo, Cuba on January 29, 1942. He graduated from the Air Force Academy and then became a pilot in the Cuban air force. He then became a lieutenant colonel and was chosen to be a part of the Soviet Union’s Intercosmos program. Tamayo Méndez went into space as a crew member of Soyuz 38. In space, Tamayo Méndez and fellow cosmonaut Yuri Romanenko conducted many experiments. Some of their experiments included trying to find the cause for space adaptation syndrome and research on the crystallization of sucrose in microgravity with Cuban sugar. When Tamayo Méndez returned, he was presented with several awards such as the Hero of the Republic of Cuba medal.

    On this date, September 18, 1980, Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez became the first Cuban citizen, first Latin American and first person of African ancestry to travel in space.

    Tamayo Méndez was born in Guantánamo, Cuba on January 29, 1942. He graduated from the Air Force Academy and then became a pilot in the Cuban air force. He then became a lieutenant colonel and was chosen to be a part of the Soviet Union’s Intercosmos program. Tamayo Méndez went into space as a crew member of Soyuz 38. In space, Tamayo Méndez and fellow cosmonaut Yuri Romanenko conducted many experiments. Some of their experiments included trying to find the cause for space adaptation syndrome and research on the crystallization of sucrose in microgravity with Cuban sugar. When Tamayo Méndez returned, he was presented with several awards such as the Hero of the Republic of Cuba medal.

  5. Check out our new Fall 2014 brochure on Issuu!

  6. Riley B. King, American blues musician, better known as B.B. King, was born on this day, September 16, 1925. King started out as a singer and disc jockey at WDIA by the nickname Beale Street Blues Boy, which later became Blues Boy and eventually B.B. Today, King is known as one of the most influential blues guitarists in all of history. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Throughout his career, King had performed more than 200 concerts every year until he reached his seventies. King still continues to play several shows a year with his heart in the blues. Celebrate his birthday with his performance of The Thrill is Gone in this video at Montreux, 1993.

  7. 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 

  8. 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 

  9. 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!

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. "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.

  15. 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.