As every scholar of African Americans knows, Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is an essential resource for black history. But who...

As every scholar of African Americans knows, Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is an essential resource for black history. But who was Schomburg? In Diasporic Blackness: The Life and Times of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg (SUNY Press, 2018), Vanessa Valdés recovers the important legacy of the man whose name, collection, and activism are now attached forever to the legacies of the African Diaspora. Dr. Valdés situates Schomburg’s life within the context of his multi-layered identity as an Afro-Puerto Rican man born and formatively shaped in the Spanish Caribbean during a fraught period. This period witnessed Puerto Rico’s abolition of slavery and the imperialist Spanish-Cuban-American War as well. These events shaped the young man who migrated to the United States in the early 1890s and who became one of the leading Black bibliophiles and intellectuals of the twentieth century.


Adam McNeil is PhD student in History at the University of Delaware where he is an African American Public Humanities Initiative and Colored Conventions Project Scholar. He received his M.A. in History at Simmons College in 2018 and his B.S. in History at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in 2015. Follow him @CulturedModesty on Twitter to learn more about upcoming interviews.

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