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Posts from Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Sannu Niger!

ferdinandreus on flickrThe capture last week of Saif al-Islam Qaddafi who, disguised as a Tuareg, was trying to flee to Niger — where one of his brothers and some high-ranking officials have found refuge — has turned a spotlight on a country few people have heard of.

Niger? You mean

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Nikky Finney Wins National Book Award in Poetry

On November 16, Nikky Finney received the 2011 National Book Award in Poetry for her book Head Off & Split. Political, sensual, historical, imaginative, Finney’s poems speak of struggle, beauty, love, and race with passion and tenderness. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where she has been teaching for several years, congratulates her on 

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Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa

“The writer cannot be a mere storyteller; he cannot be a mere teacher; he cannot merely X-ray society’s weaknesses, its ills, its perils. He or she must be actively involved shaping its present and its future.”

Nigerian environmentalist, author, and television producer Ken Saro-Wiwa lived and died by the words above. Born on October 10, 1941, Kenule “Ken” Beeson Saro Wiwa was an Ogoni (an ethnic minority in Nigeria). Ogoniland, located in the Niger Delta, is rich in oil that has been looted by 

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Gold, Freedom, Faith, and Baroque in Brazil

I had not slept for 34 hours. After a bad flight and two long bus trips, I was hiking, ecstatic, in a muddy mine. I touched the walls from top to bottom. Perhaps “he” had put his hands there too. I was walking in the steps of Galanga, renamed Francisco, and known as Chico Rei (King Chico).

Story -or legend-has it that 270 years ago, Chico Rei, believed to have been a ruler in Congo, his family, and others were forced aboard a slave ship. The Middle Passage took his wife and children, but he and one son survived. They landed in Brazil and were sent to Vila 

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The Autobiography in Arabic of a Senegalese Enslaved in North Carolina

In 1831, Omar ibn Said, a Senegalese trader and Qur'anic teacher enslaved in North Carolina, wrote his autobiography in Arabic. It is the only known surviving slave narrative written in that language in the Americas. On October 13, at 6pm at the Schomburg Center, Yale Professor Ala Alryyes will present A Muslim American Slave: The Life of Omar Ibn Said, which features 

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Using NYPL resources to enrich your African American History studies

Toussaint Louverture, about 1795 (NYPL Digital Gallery)Use the resources of NYPL to engage your students with the rich and complex history of African Americans. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture has several online exhibitions that make NYPL resources easily accessible and usable in your classroom: 

In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience: http://www.inmotionaame.org/home.cfm

African Americans in American Politics: 

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Michael Jackson: Icon

Michael Jackson’s sudden and tragic death has revealed the truly iconic status he had achieved in the world. While some of the news media has chosen to continually harp on what they have labeled as Michael’s eccentricities, especially what they have called his bizarre appearance and behavior over the last few years, his 40 years of unbroken creativity and musical genius have secured his enduring iconic status in the minds of an adoring global public.

No death in the last century, including 

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John Hope Franklin

The New York Public Library, especially the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, joins millions of Americans in honoring the pioneering, purposeful, immensely productive life of Dr. John Hope Franklin (1915–2009). The preeminent scholar of the African American experience, he was a leading authority on Southern American history, a distinguished educator, and an uncompromising advocate for equality and justice in American society.

A New York Public Library Lion (2007), a co-chair of the Schomburg Center's first private fundraising 

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What do leg warmers, healthy food preparation, wrestling, and Obama’s inauguration have in common?

They are all topics of programs or workshops for adults coming up at various New York Public Library locations over the next few months!

Leg warmers will be knitted at the Chatham Square Library in Chinatown. Wakefield Library in the north Bronx will host a useful series of free food preparation workshops by Cornell University Cooperative Extension 

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