Color painting of a woman on a green background with raised fist in the shape of hair. Below the image reads D is for Diaspora
D is for Diaspora, 2024, Painting by Anisa Cribb

Step into Letters from Home: The Black ABCs Reimagined, an extraordinary exhibition by the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program. Through vibrant acrylic paintings, evocative photography, and innovative AI art, students breathe new life into these iconic educational artifacts from 1970. Guided by the theme “Growing Up Black,” their reimagined ABCs unravel the complexities of identity, the burdens of history, and the resilience of the spirit. These works do not merely speak—they confront, challenge, and celebrate the profound essence of Black life in the 21st century.  Join the students of the Junior Scholars Program in honoring the enduring legacy of the Black ABCs—a testament to the transformative power of representation, education, and cultural pride in shaping history.

The Junior Scholars Program serves one hundred youth from the New York City area, ages 11 to 18, in a free afterschool Black studies program that promotes historical literacy through lectures, group discussions, and project-based learning. Students generate research, art portfolios, and collaborative multimedia arts projects from their intensive study of the Schomburg Center’s archives and resources. 

Public Program

Color photograph of two black faces with white text that reads Growing Up Black
Growing Up Black: The 22nd Annual Junior Scholars Program Youth Summit

Saturday, June 8 | 11 AM

Building upon the rich tapestry of history, our Junior Scholars work draws inspiration from sources found within the archives at the Schomburg Center like the Brownies' Book, weaving a narrative that celebrates resilience, resistance, and the journey towards self-discovery. Through music, video production, spoken word, visual arts, and radio journalism, they paint a vivid portrait of the Black experience in today's world. This multimedia showcase will also feature Partner Presentations from Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center & Horizons Juvenile Detentions Center.

Get ready to be empowered, educated, and inspired at the 22nd Annual Junior Scholars Program Youth Summit. 


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This exhibition is curated by the student participants in the 2023-24 cohort of the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program. Special thanks to:

Joy L. Bivins, Director of Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Novella Ford, Associate Director Public Programs and Exhibitions

Sira Marissa Lewis, Interim Junior Scholars Program Coordinator

M. Scott Johnson, Curator/Visual Arts Instructor

Laura Mogulescu, Exhibitions Manager

Reegan Houston/A Same Different Story, Creative Director & Senior Graphic Designer

Ebony Washington, NYC Administration for Children's Services

Mike Depasquale, Installation Assistant

Rebecca Josephson, Installation Assistant