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Posts from the Schomburg Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division

Celebrating Queer Voices in Black Music History

Housed in our vast collection of materials and resources on black LGBTQ identity, which includes the In The Life Archive, are the portrait collections of blues singers Gertrude Ma Rainey, Ethel Waters, and Bessie Smith in the Photographs and Prints Division.Read More ›

Live From the Reading Room: Thomas Wright "Fats" Waller to Phil Ponce

Live from the Reading Room: Correspondence is a podcast series that aims to share interesting and engaging letters written by or to key historical figures from the African Diaspora. Read More ›

Exploring the Literary Within the Black Power Movement

When we explore the dynamics of the Black Power Movement, we must not fail to explore the Black Arts Movement as well. It was the artistic voice that helped increase political activism and express the importance of cultural values through various art forms. Read More ›

Live From the Reading Room: Philippa Schuyler to Josephine Schuyler

Live from the Reading Room: Correspondence is a podcast series that aims to share interesting and engaging letters written by or to key historical figures from the African Diaspora. Read More ›

Remembering Malcolm X Through the Women Who Knew Him

Our annual celebration of the birthday of Malcolm X will be held on May 19 in collaboration with the Malcolm X Museum. The all-women panel, Women Speak About Malcolm X, is sold out, but you may still join the discussion via LiveStream.Read More ›

Live From the Reading Room: Josephine Schuyler to Philippa Schuyler

Today’s episode features a letter from journalist and essayist Josephine Schuyler, to her daughter, pianist, composer, journalist, and child prodigy Philippa Duke Schuyler. Read More ›

Schomburg Treasures: Writers' Program, New York City

Material relating to the WPA Writers' Program in New York City and the book The Negro in New York.Read More ›

Playwright Pays Homage To Legendary MCs With Play Cycle

Shaun Neblett, aka MC SNEB, is a playwright, educator, and founder of Changing Perceptions Theater. Read More ›

Bill Gunn: An Unsung Hero of Black Filmmaking

Nora Soto, Pre-Professional in our Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, celebrates the brilliance of filmmaker Bill Gunn, whose papers are now available in our collections.Read More ›

Scholarship Behind "Ghetto, The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea"

A list of primary sources at the heart of Ghetto, The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea, by Dr. Mitchell DuneierRead More ›

Live From the Reading Room: Zora Neale Hurston to 'Bill'

Today’s episode features a letter from writer, anthropologist, and folklorist, Zora Neale Hurston to her friend, “Bill.”Read More ›

Remembering Activist Paul Robeson

Alicia Perez, Communications Pre-Professional at the Schomburg Center, reflects on the lasting influence of activist Paul Robeson on his birthday.Read More ›

Live From the Reading Room: Claude McKay to Walter White

Today’s episode features a letter from Jamaican-American Harlem renaissance era poet and writer Claude McKay to NAACP leader and civil rights activist, Walter White.Read More ›

Live From the Reading Room: Josephine Baker to Sumio Matasuo

Live from the Reading Room: Correspondence is a podcast series that aims to share interesting and engaging letters written by or to key historical figures from the African Diaspora. Read More ›

Live From the Reading Room: Nella Larsen to 'Eddie'

Today’s episode features a note from Harlem Renaissance writer Nella Larsen to an unidentified friend—“Eddie”—regarding a social gathering preceding the wedding of Yolande Du Bois and Countee Cullen. Read More ›

Live from the Reading Room: C.L.R. James to Constance Webb

Today’s episode features a love letter from Trinidadian social theorist, historian and political activist C.L.R. James (1901-1989) to his wife and confidant the actress, model, writer and activist Constance Webb (1918-2005). Read More ›

100 Years (Or So) Ago in Dance: Florence Mills

Florence Mills was famed for her birdlike voice as well as her spontaneous dancing during her numbers. She was one of the most popular entertainers of the early 1920s in New York, London, and Paris, and yet, perhaps because she died at age 32, her fame has not survived. Read More ›

Live from the Reading Room: Nathan Woodard to Alice Childress

A love letter from musician and composer Nathan Woodard to his wife and creative collaborator Alice Childress.Read More ›

Live from the Reading Room: Aaron Douglas to Alta Sawyer Douglas

Today’s episode features a memorable love note from leading Harlem Renaissance painter, illustrator, and graphic artist Aaron Douglas to his wife and life partner Alta Sawyer Douglas, an esteemed educator and Harlemite. Read More ›

Live from the Reading Room: Arturo Schomburg to Langston Hughes

Today’s letter features correspondence between Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and Langston Hughes. In the excerpt below, Schomburg speaks with Hughes regarding acquisitions for The Division of Negro Literature, History and Prints—the forerunner to today’s Schomburg Center.Read More ›
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