Arturo Schomburg Black Mug - Black History Scholar - Harlem Renaissance | Afro Latino - Puerto Rican Activist | Research Library NYC
Arturo Schomburg was a writer, historian, scholar and activist specializing in the collection and documentation of Black History across the African Diaspora. His academic work came to prominence during the Harlem Renaissance after moving to New York from Puerto Rico, where he was born, at the age of 17. While living in New York he engulfed himself in the study of Black culture and began to travel to document and collect books, manuscripts, slave narratives, art and other historical items related to the stories of people of African descent.
The large collection of items Schomburg amassed was later bought by the New York Public Library for their 135th Street branch location which would eventually become 'The Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture" in Harlem, NY. After being established, Schomburg was appointed as curator of the collection and ran it until his passing in 1938.
As an activist, in addition to being a member of several academic organizations based around Black history with other historians (John Edward Bruce, Marcus Garvey), Schomburg was an active in fighting for the independence of Puerto Rico and Cuba from the rule of Spain. The flags included in this design are representative of the flag of Puerto Rico, where he was born, the flag of Cuba for which he was an advocate and the colors of the Pan African flag, representing his work connecting the histories of people of African descent worldwide. Schomburg identified as "Afroborinqueño" (Afro-Puerto Rican).
Arturo Schomburg's work and legacy has influenced and inspired many historians including Dr. John Henrik Clarke. The Schomburg Center has served as as a research base for many including Alex Haley's research for Roots and Spike Lee for his film Malcolm X.