1. On August 30, 1983, Dr. Guion Stewart “Guy” Bluford, Jr. became the first African American in space.
Bluford, pictured, had earned his M.S. and PhD in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He flew the space shuttle, performed various experiments and aided in the launch of a $45 million weather and communications satellite for India. During this first mission with more to come, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, Bluford received a call from Ronald Reagan in which he said, “You will serve as a role model for so many others and be so inspirational.”

    On August 30, 1983, Dr. Guion Stewart “Guy” Bluford, Jr. became the first African American in space.

    Bluford, pictured, had earned his M.S. and PhD in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He flew the space shuttle, performed various experiments and aided in the launch of a $45 million weather and communications satellite for India. During this first mission with more to come, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, Bluford received a call from Ronald Reagan in which he said, “You will serve as a role model for so many others and be so inspirational.”

  2. First Friday: Labor Day Edition!
Friday, September 5 at 6:00 p.m.Join us on Friday September 5, 2014 for First Friday: Labor Day “West Indian Day Edition.” Calling all West Indians & others to come enjoy the celebration! FEEL FREE TO REP YOUR COUNTRY WITH YOUR PARAPHERNALIA AND FLAGS! The Schomburg Center has played a pivotal role within Caribbean communities and thrives off of the support of all groups within our community. We will be showing the Video “Carnival TNT,” a colorful and lively film which celebrates the Carnival festivities in Trinidad and Tobago in the American Negro Theater.For more information and to register, please click this link.

    First Friday: Labor Day Edition!

    Friday, September 5 at 6:00 p.m.

    Join us on Friday September 5, 2014 for First Friday: Labor Day “West Indian Day Edition.” Calling all West Indians & others to come enjoy the celebration! FEEL FREE TO REP YOUR COUNTRY WITH YOUR PARAPHERNALIA AND FLAGS! The Schomburg Center has played a pivotal role within Caribbean communities and thrives off of the support of all groups within our community. We will be showing the Video “Carnival TNT,” a colorful and lively film which celebrates the Carnival festivities in Trinidad and Tobago in the American Negro Theater.

    For more information and to register, please click this link.

  3. Conversations in Black Freedom Studies - The Urban Crisis: An Unfinished Agenda
Thursday, September 4 at 6:00 p.m.
As we kick off our Conversations in Black Freedom Studies Series, join us for The Urban Crisis: An Unfinished Agenda with Dr. Robert Curvin, Junius Williams, and Dr. Clarence Taylor, Baruch College.
"The time is ripe to revisit the unfinished agenda of the Black Revolt against the urban crisis: What is to be done? The Stop Killer Cops Campaign has a rich yet neglected history from the shooting of black children in Brooklyn in the 1970s to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014.
This roundtable of experts will unpack the congested issues of the urban crisis and suggest some current alternatives. Clarence Taylor is a pioneering expert on Civil Rights in the Jim Crow North, writing a book on the history of police brutality in NYC. Junius Williams is a veteran of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee or SNCC and the Students for a Democratic Society or SDS, who pioneered advocacy planning and community development. Mr. Williams will discuss his memoir, Unfinished Agenda: Urban Politics in the Era of Black Power. And, Robert Curvin is a veteran of the Congress of Racial Equality or CORE in Essex County, New Jersey, former dean at the New School & past member of the New York Times editorial board, who has stayed on the cutting edge of alternative community development and economic empowerment from his work at the Ford Foundation to his teaching at Rutgers University. Mr. Curvin will discuss his new book, with an overview of those issues in Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion, and the Search for Transformation.” —Komozi Woodard
For more information and to register, please click this link.

    Conversations in Black Freedom Studies - The Urban Crisis: An Unfinished Agenda

    Thursday, September 4 at 6:00 p.m.

    As we kick off our Conversations in Black Freedom Studies Series, join us for The Urban Crisis: An Unfinished Agenda with Dr. Robert Curvin, Junius Williams, and Dr. Clarence Taylor, Baruch College.

    "The time is ripe to revisit the unfinished agenda of the Black Revolt against the urban crisis: What is to be done? The Stop Killer Cops Campaign has a rich yet neglected history from the shooting of black children in Brooklyn in the 1970s to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014.

    This roundtable of experts will unpack the congested issues of the urban crisis and suggest some current alternatives. Clarence Taylor is a pioneering expert on Civil Rights in the Jim Crow North, writing a book on the history of police brutality in NYC. Junius Williams is a veteran of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee or SNCC and the Students for a Democratic Society or SDS, who pioneered advocacy planning and community development. Mr. Williams will discuss his memoir, Unfinished Agenda: Urban Politics in the Era of Black Power. And, Robert Curvin is a veteran of the Congress of Racial Equality or CORE in Essex County, New Jersey, former dean at the New School & past member of the New York Times editorial board, who has stayed on the cutting edge of alternative community development and economic empowerment from his work at the Ford Foundation to his teaching at Rutgers University. Mr. Curvin will discuss his new book, with an overview of those issues in Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion, and the Search for Transformation.” —Komozi Woodard

    For more information and to register, please click this link.

  4. September 3-13, 2014A Tribute to Harry Bayard DugginsBorn in Harlem, Harry Bayard Duggins was a singer, dancer, illustrator and designer who volunteered with the Minority Task on AIDS in the 1980s. To honor this Harlemite’s life’s work, a small exhibition of items testifying to his artistic and activist sensibility will be on display for a limited time in the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.For more information, click here.

    September 3-13, 2014
    A Tribute to Harry Bayard Duggins

    Born in Harlem, Harry Bayard Duggins was a singer, dancer, illustrator and designer who volunteered with the Minority Task on AIDS in the 1980s. To honor this Harlemite’s life’s work, a small exhibition of items testifying to his artistic and activist sensibility will be on display for a limited time in the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.

    For more information, click here.

  5. We are excited to launch our Fall 2014 program season. Join us for an an eclectic mix of conversations, screenings, and performances including the Schomburg’s most popular series: Between the Lines, Before 5, Talks at the Schomburg, First Fridays, Films at the Schomburg, and more.
Check out our complete Fall Calendar and register for our FREE events!

    We are excited to launch our Fall 2014 program season. Join us for an an eclectic mix of conversations, screenings, and performances including the Schomburg’s most popular series: Between the Lines, Before 5, Talks at the Schomburg, First Fridays, Films at the Schomburg, and more.

    Check out our complete Fall Calendar and register for our FREE events!

  6. On this date, August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. made his “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the Great March on Washington, one of the biggest political rallies with more than 200,000 Americans. The march brought to attention the political and social struggles of African Americans with speeches and performances from John Lewis, Josephine Baker, Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan and many others as well. This event is recognized as a pivotal moment in the American Civil Rights Movement.

    On this date, August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. made his “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the Great March on Washington, one of the biggest political rallies with more than 200,000 Americans. The march brought to attention the political and social struggles of African Americans with speeches and performances from John Lewis, Josephine Baker, Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan and many others as well. This event is recognized as a pivotal moment in the American Civil Rights Movement.

  7. W.E.B. DuBois, american civil rights activist, scholar and founding father of NAACP, died on this date, August 27, 1963. Du Bois was born and raised in Massachusetts. Du Bois, pictured, was the first African American to receive a Ph. D. in History from Harvard University. He was the co-founder of the NAACP and was an advocate for African American civil rights and equality. DuBois adamantly spoke in favor of higher education and political office for blacks. DuBois was also a supporter of Pan-Africanism and worked to help African colonies under European rule. Around the time of his death, he had been working on an encyclopedia called “The Encyclopedia Africana,” in Ghana. He was 95. 

Image: NYPL Digital Collections

    W.E.B. DuBois, american civil rights activist, scholar and founding father of NAACP, died on this date, August 27, 1963. Du Bois was born and raised in Massachusetts. Du Bois, pictured, was the first African American to receive a Ph. D. in History from Harvard University. He was the co-founder of the NAACP and was an advocate for African American civil rights and equality. DuBois adamantly spoke in favor of higher education and political office for blacks. DuBois was also a supporter of Pan-Africanism and worked to help African colonies under European rule. Around the time of his death, he had been working on an encyclopedia called “The Encyclopedia Africana,” in Ghana. He was 95. 

    Image: NYPL Digital Collections

  8. Althea Gibson, tennis player and the first African American to compete in the U.S. Nationals, was born on this day, August 25, 1927. Gibson showed an appreciation for sports at a young age, playing basketball and paddle tennis. After joining the American Tennis Association, Gibson began her networking and career as a tennis player. At the age of 29, Gibson became the first black person to win the French championships.She was also the first African American to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals in 1957 and then won again in 1958. Gibson faced a lot of racism at first, some of which included not being allowed to compete despite her skill level and being denied rooms at hotels but eventually, she was allowed to take the world by storm. Gibson won 11 Grand Slam events which placed her in the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. 

    Althea Gibson, tennis player and the first African American to compete in the U.S. Nationals, was born on this day, August 25, 1927. Gibson showed an appreciation for sports at a young age, playing basketball and paddle tennis. After joining the American Tennis Association, Gibson began her networking and career as a tennis player. At the age of 29, Gibson became the first black person to win the French championships.She was also the first African American to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals in 1957 and then won again in 1958. Gibson faced a lot of racism at first, some of which included not being allowed to compete despite her skill level and being denied rooms at hotels but eventually, she was allowed to take the world by storm. Gibson won 11 Grand Slam events which placed her in the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. 

  9. On this day, August 24, 1950, Edith Sampson, pictured on the right with Eleanor Roosevelt on the left, was named the first black delegate to the United Nations. Sampson held this position for three years. Sampson’s first degree was in social work and then she went to John Marshall for Law School, graduating with a dean’s commendation. She received her master of law degree from Loyola University and became one of the first African American women to join the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Women Lawyers and to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court. Sampson later became a judge elected to a Municipal Court.

    On this day, August 24, 1950, Edith Sampson, pictured on the right with Eleanor Roosevelt on the left, was named the first black delegate to the United Nations. Sampson held this position for three years. Sampson’s first degree was in social work and then she went to John Marshall for Law School, graduating with a dean’s commendation. She received her master of law degree from Loyola University and became one of the first African American women to join the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Women Lawyers and to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court. Sampson later became a judge elected to a Municipal Court.

  10. On August 23, 1900, Booker T. Washington formed the National Negro Business League in Boston. The goal of the organization was to better the commercial and financial progression of African Americans. In 1901, the league was formally recognized and then established many more chapters all over the nation. Washington noticed a need to create a network for business that would encourage financial development for African Americans. The organization aided African Americans struggling with merchandising and promotions. The league contained members who were African American business owners and professionals. In 1966, the National Negro Business League was renamed the National Business League. 
Image: NYPL Digital Collection

    On August 23, 1900, Booker T. Washington formed the National Negro Business League in Boston. The goal of the organization was to better the commercial and financial progression of African Americans. In 1901, the league was formally recognized and then established many more chapters all over the nation. Washington noticed a need to create a network for business that would encourage financial development for African Americans. The organization aided African Americans struggling with merchandising and promotions. The league contained members who were African American business owners and professionals. In 1966, the National Negro Business League was renamed the National Business League. 

    Image: NYPL Digital Collection

  11. 
On this date, August 22, 1989, Black Panther Party co-founder, Huey P. Newton died. He was shot to death in Oakland, California. Tyrone Robinson, a drug dealer and member of the Black Guerilla Family confessed to the crime three days after. Newton was a controversial prominent figure in the 1960s. He and Bobby Seale were known for their fight for African American equality. The Black Panthers also aided the community by providing meals, self defense classes, medical clinics and first aid to those in need. The Black Panthers, however, organized and militant, garnered negative attention from the FBI with cases accusing the party of violent actions against people, including law enforcement. But, despite the negative image of violent activism that followed the Black Panthers and Newton, he and the party’s positive principal views and actions for the black community continue to be remembered. 

    On this date, August 22, 1989, Black Panther Party co-founder, Huey P. Newton died. He was shot to death in Oakland, California. Tyrone Robinson, a drug dealer and member of the Black Guerilla Family confessed to the crime three days after. Newton was a controversial prominent figure in the 1960s. He and Bobby Seale were known for their fight for African American equality. The Black Panthers also aided the community by providing meals, self defense classes, medical clinics and first aid to those in need. The Black Panthers, however, organized and militant, garnered negative attention from the FBI with cases accusing the party of violent actions against people, including law enforcement. But, despite the negative image of violent activism that followed the Black Panthers and Newton, he and the party’s positive principal views and actions for the black community continue to be remembered. 

  12. The Howard Theatre opened on August 22, 1910. It was one of the first prominent theatres open to African Americans, as pictured in a photograph from 1917.  In the 20th century, the theatre had many big black music artists perform such as, Sarah Vaughn, James Brown and Stevie Wonder. During the Great Depression, the theatre was a church and then in 1931, Duke Ellington and his band performed at the Howard, transforming it into a major entertainment center.  In 1970, the Howard Theatre was closed due to the riots and desegregation. The theatre opened again in 1973 and in 1974, it became a historic landmark. The theatre was a host to go-go bands and others in the 70s and the 80s. Then, in 1980, it closed once again. The theatre reopened after a $29 million renovation on April 9, 2012. Despite the theatre’s history, struggling to remain open, many current big names such as Esperanza Spalding, Sheila E. The Roots, Drake, and Chaka Khan have performed at the theatre since the reopening. 

Image: NYPL Digital Library 

    The Howard Theatre opened on August 22, 1910. It was one of the first prominent theatres open to African Americans, as pictured in a photograph from 1917.  In the 20th century, the theatre had many big black music artists perform such as, Sarah Vaughn, James Brown and Stevie Wonder. During the Great Depression, the theatre was a church and then in 1931, Duke Ellington and his band performed at the Howard, transforming it into a major entertainment center.  In 1970, the Howard Theatre was closed due to the riots and desegregation. The theatre opened again in 1973 and in 1974, it became a historic landmark. The theatre was a host to go-go bands and others in the 70s and the 80s. Then, in 1980, it closed once again. The theatre reopened after a $29 million renovation on April 9, 2012. Despite the theatre’s history, struggling to remain open, many current big names such as Esperanza Spalding, Sheila E. The Roots, Drake, and Chaka Khan have performed at the theatre since the reopening. 

    Image: NYPL Digital Library 

  13. William “Count” Basie, American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader and composer, was born on this date, August 21, 1904 in Red Bank, New Jersey. His father was Harvey Basie, a mellophonist. His mother, Lillian, was a pianist who taught Basie the basics of the piano. Before he had his own band, he played piano for vaudeville. He stormed the world of music with talent and composition skill. Basie was the first African American male to receive a Grammy Award in 1958. Basie won several more Grammys later in his life and is known as one of the most influential Jazz musicians in history. 

    William “Count” Basie, American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader and composer, was born on this date, August 21, 1904 in Red Bank, New Jersey. His father was Harvey Basie, a mellophonist. His mother, Lillian, was a pianist who taught Basie the basics of the piano. Before he had his own band, he played piano for vaudeville. He stormed the world of music with talent and composition skill. Basie was the first African American male to receive a Grammy Award in 1958. Basie won several more Grammys later in his life and is known as one of the most influential Jazz musicians in history. 

  14. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives from Ohio, was born September 10, 1949 in Cleveland. She received her law degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1971. She was an assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor for three years. In 1981, she was elected a Cleveland Municipal Court Judge and then became a chief prosecutor. She was an active supporter of broader health care coverage for low and middle income individuals and assistance for re-entry of convicts into their communities. She also fought against predatory lending practices. In 1998, Jones was involved in the controversy of reopening the investigation of the murder of Dr. Sam Sheppard’s wife in 1954. In her later years, Jones was against additional financing for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Jones passed away in August 20, 2008, due to a ruptured brain aneurysm. 

    Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives from Ohio, was born September 10, 1949 in Cleveland. She received her law degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1971. She was an assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor for three years. In 1981, she was elected a Cleveland Municipal Court Judge and then became a chief prosecutor. She was an active supporter of broader health care coverage for low and middle income individuals and assistance for re-entry of convicts into their communities. She also fought against predatory lending practices. In 1998, Jones was involved in the controversy of reopening the investigation of the murder of Dr. Sam Sheppard’s wife in 1954. In her later years, Jones was against additional financing for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Jones passed away in August 20, 2008, due to a ruptured brain aneurysm. 

  15. On August 19, 1989, Desmond Tutu, a South African social rights activist and now retired Anglican bishop, defied apartheid laws by walking on a Cape Town whites-only beach. In protest, he and other demonstrators entered the beach at Cape Town’s False Bay. The police used dogs, whips, tear gas and had set up roadblocks to deter demonstrators from getting to the beach. The policeman in charge threatened the protesters by saying he would have the other officers fire into the crowd. Tutu walked on the beach for a moment and then after, the police sent their dogs on whoever stayed on the beach and fired rubber bullets at unarmed protesters. This was one event of many to come in defying apartheid laws. 

    On August 19, 1989, Desmond Tutu, a South African social rights activist and now retired Anglican bishop, defied apartheid laws by walking on a Cape Town whites-only beach. In protest, he and other demonstrators entered the beach at Cape Town’s False Bay. The police used dogs, whips, tear gas and had set up roadblocks to deter demonstrators from getting to the beach. The policeman in charge threatened the protesters by saying he would have the other officers fire into the crowd. Tutu walked on the beach for a moment and then after, the police sent their dogs on whoever stayed on the beach and fired rubber bullets at unarmed protesters. This was one event of many to come in defying apartheid laws.