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Live from the Reading Room: Jean-Léon Destiné to Lavinia Williams

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.

Each episode highlights a letter from popular collections housed in the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.

This episode features a letter from Saint Marc, Haiti born dancer and choreographer, Jean-Léon Destiné, to Philadelphia born dancer, choreographer, and teacher, Lavinia Williams Yarborough.

Jean-Léon Destiné


Photo credit: Jean-Léon Destiné Portrait Collection, Photographs and Prints Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Today’s correspondence is recited by , radio announcer, educator, musician and actor S.Atibon Legba.  Atibon’s work as an actor was featured in the 2013 film, Mother of George.


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Dr. Thelma Davidson Adair

How can I get Dr. Thelma Davidson Adair, archived within your collection? Tks. So many important historical figures in our community have passed away. I want to also get the street that she has lived on for 75 years named after her. Dr. Adair was an institutional builder in our community.

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