Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Recent Articles

Maya Angelou April 4, 1928 — May 28, 2014

How does one pay adequate tribute to the legacy of Maya Angelou, the beloved historic icon and cultural treasure who passed away on May 28? Her enduring presence as an enlightening, empowering beacon to which the hearts and minds of Black women faithfully were drawn, after all, marked her as an individual of inestimable consequence whose like we quite probably will never see again. Dr. Angelou, nee Marguerite Annie Johnson, advanced from an auspicious literary debut, publishing her first autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings with the aid of James Baldwin, who would become a lifelong friend, to a titanic career that spanned more than a half century. Her accomplishments included, in far from a complete listing, a film rendition of the book starring Diahann Carroll and Ruby Dee; six more autobiographies; acting turns in The Richard Pryor Special?, Poetic Justice with Janet Jackson, and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion; as well as stints directing (Down In The Delta, starring Alfre Woodward, featuring Al Freeman, Jr), producing (Sister, Sister with Rosalind Cash, Diahann Carroll and Paul Winfield), and scoring film soundtracks (For Love of Ivy, starring Sidney Poitier). She is best known for her vast volume of poetry, most notably “On the Pulse of Morning,” which she recited at President Bill Clinton’s 1994 inauguration. Continue Reading →

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Begin a home-based library that affirms Black intellect and culture



First, I want to thank the Spokesman Recorder for a concerted effort to maintain a steady flow of important quality information about the life and times of our community. Many people of African heritage and some of other cultural groups have written different literature about the Black experience, including interpretations of the impact of the horrific conditions under which we have lived for over 25 generations. There is a collection of written materials in several places such as libraries and universities like the Givens collection locally. Materials written about us by us include newspaper and magazine articles, peer-reviewed scholarly articles covering everything from the slave trade to awful public hangings of our people. Many writers have pursued studies that document our pain, our suffering and our victimization at the hands of the people who enslaved us. Continue Reading →

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