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Blog Posts by Subject: African American Studies

Black Aesthetics: Revisiting 'From Dapper to Dope' and Considering Black Style Traditions

To centralize the experiences and creative worlds of black people in portraits, paintings, literature, and poetry is to engage in black aesthetics. Black aesthetics extend, too, to fashion and personal style.Read More ›

On Black Aesthetics: The Black Arts Movement

BAM had its roots in the northeastern United States, but spread quickly to the south and the west coast with the transnational movements and communal exchange of artists like Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Askia Touré, and Ntozake Shange. Literary groups such as Umbra Workshop of Manhattan and

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A Reading List for America

A reading list in response to recent events and to help foster literacy of the American Black experience. Read More ›

Black Dance at the Schomburg: A Visual History

The language of dance as told by black people through photographs in our Digital Collections.Read More ›

Black Dance at the Schomburg: The Black Iris Project

On July 14 The Black Iris Project will perform Madiba—a dance piece based on the life and legacy of humanitarian and anti-apartheid activist, Nelson “Madiba” Mandela. The performance is set to an original score by black classical composer Carman Moore.Read More ›

Honoring Arturo Schomburg's Afro-Latino Legacy

As a young boy in Puerto Rico, Schomburg was told that black people lacked culture or history. This was a comment that he would never forget. It contributed to Schomburg’s decision to devote his life to sourcing and collecting black history.Read More ›

Live From the Reading Room: Ada "Bricktop" Smith to Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong

Today’s episode features a letter from jazz singer, dancer, and nightclub owner Ada Smith, jazz trumpeter, composer, singer, and "auto-archivist" Louis Armstrong.Read More ›

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 ›

On Black Fatherhood and Muhammad Ali

Remembering Ali as a champion father figure in the black community—exemplifying strength, confidence, and a love for people around the world.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 ›

Finding Solace and Motivation in Black Lesbian Literature

Our Communications pre-professional, Alicia Perez, takes a deeper dive into our collections and finds a gem that perfectly aligns with her current journey at this time in her professional and personal life.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 ›

Celebrating Miriam Makeba on the 56th Anniversary of Her Iconic Debut Album

Often called Harry Belafonte’s protégé or Mama Africa, today is the 56th anniversary of South African singer/songwriter Miriam Makeba’s debut album.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 ›

The Legacy of Dick Gregory

One of the greatest benefits that a celebrity has is a platform to speak out against the injustices of society. Comedian, social activist, writer, and entrepreneur, Dick Gregory, born Gregory Richard Claxton, can be noted as doing this over the course of his life.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 ›

Granville T. Woods: An Early STEM Pioneer

He registered nearly 60 patents—ranging from the development of the telephone to the multiplex telegraph.Read 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 ›
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