New Black Power! Exhibition now open at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (until Dec 2017)

Black Power exhibition at the Schomburg Center - Feb 16 to Dec 2017.jpg

March 20, 2017 to December 2017 | 10:00am – 8:00pm

On February 16, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will open its latest exhibition Black Power! in the newly-renovated Main Exhibition Hall. On display through December 2017, Black Power! will invite visitors to delve deeper into the heterogeneous and ideologically diverse global movement that shaped black consciousness and built an immense legacy of community organizing and advocacy that continues to resonate in the United States of America and around the world today. Visitors will also confront misconceptions and truths about the Black Power movement.

Black Power! serves as another touchstone in the Schomburg’s “Black Power 50” focus, a year-long examination into the 50th anniversary of the Black Power movement. Stokely Carmichael and fellow Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) worker Willie Ricks introduced Black Power as a concept in June 1966.

In February 2016, the Schomburg launched “Black Power 50” with a two-part digital exhibition in partnership with Google Cultural Institute. The Schomburg has since released the new exhibition’s catalog Black Power 50 and hosted a “Grandassa Models” © Kwame Brathwaite, 1968 series of public programs featuring conversations with leaders of the Black Power movement such as Kathleen Cleaver, Bobby Seale, and Iris Morales, and Black Arts Movement luminaries Nikki Giovanni, Askia Touré, and Sonia Sanchez, among many others.

Highlights from the Black Power! exhibition include:

•Black Panther Coalition Flyer –  A flyer capturing the efforts of the Black Panther Party, the Puerto Rican Young Lords, the white Young Patriots, the Chinese-American I Wor Kuen, and the Inmates Liberation Front united to demand the release of the Panther 21, who were arrested in April 1969 on suspicion of planning to bomb several sites in New York City.

•First Issue of The Black Panther –  Bobby Seale and Elbert “Big Man” Howard published the first mimeographed issue of The Black Panther on April 25, 1967. Howard, an original member of the Black Panther Party, served as the publication’s first editor. ·

•Letter from Arab Women to Angela Davis – A letter of support to Angela Davis from The Arab Women’s League of Jordan, capturing how the fate of political prisoners in the United States received worldwide attention.

•Photo of Black Panthers in Israel – A photo of Black Panther Party Members in Israel who were part of the Mizrahi community: Jews from North Africa and the Middle East who denounced and fought against the economic and cultural domination of European Jews. Their leader wears a T-shirt reading Black Panthers in Hebrew.

Cost: FREE. Schomburg Center’s hours: Monday: 10am – 6pm; Tues – Weds: 10am – 8pm; and Thurs – Sat: 10am – 6pm.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street
New York NY 10037
Phone: 917-275-6975

More Info:


Youth Dance Performance: Dancing Through Barriers with Dance Theatre of Harlem

March 16, 2017 | 10:30am – 11:30am

danceThe Dance Theatre of Harlem’s, Dancing Through Barriers® lecture demonstration and performance is an informal presentation on the art and science of dance. Through engaging commentary and dancing, the audience experiences the rudiments of classical ballet, as well as the building block-training process that allows dancers to achieve excellence in this exacting art form.  Priority seating for youth. For ages 13 to 18 yrs. For school groups and groups larger than 10, please contact for more information.

Cost: FREE.

For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. FIRST COME, FIRST SEATED.  FREE – Register via Register Here. All registered seats are released 15 to 30 minutes before start time, so we recommend that you arrive early.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture – 515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street, NYC


Women’s Jazz Festival: Ella, Ella: A Centennial Celebration of Mama Jazz

Monday, March 6, 2017 | 7:00pm – 9:00pm

ellaThis annual tradition in honor of Women’s History Month features some of the best-known and unsung female performers in jazz today. Our 2017 festival will celebrate Ella Fitzgerald’s centennial birthday and continued influence on the evolution of jazz. “Ella, Ella: A Centennial Celebration of Mama Jazz!” is slated for four consecutive Mondays–March 6, 13, 20, and 27. Each night will explore the multi-dimensional music, life, and legacy of this jazz legend. The festival’s guest curators are critically acclaimed harpist, Brandee Younger and ethnomusicologist, Aja Burrell Wood, and The Afro-Latino Festival.


March 6: Divine Ella – Acclaimed harpist Brandee Younger will join singer Jean Baylor, Camille Thurman (alto sax and vocals), Courtney Bryan (piano), Dezron Douglas (bass) and Kassa Overall (drums) as they highlight Ella Fitzgerald’s influence in both sacred and secular music. The evening will draw on Fitzgerald’s record, “Brighten the Corner,” offering original compositions and new arrangements of favorite Fitzgerald masterpieces that evoke a spiritual essence.  This program is guest curated by harpist Brandee Younger, a fearless and versatile talent, who defies genres and labels as a classically-trained musician playing in the avant-garde tradition of her sonically forward predecessors Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane.

March 13: Ella is Present – Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer, composer, and producer Terri Lyne Carrington, together with special guests, will perform a tribute to the indelible legacy of Ella Fitzgerald. This retrospective will present Fitzgerald’s impact on today’s diverse and progressive voices and explore her unique influence in contemporary music. Guest curated by Aja Burrell Woods, enthnomusicologist and adjunct professor of African American music at The New School and Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music

March 20: WJF in Conversation: There’s Something About Ella – (To RSVP for this FREE talk, please click here.) Join us for the debut of Women’s Jazz Festival Conversations. We invite scholars, artists, and archivists to discuss the legacy of women in jazz. This evening we will reflect on the legacy of Ella Fitzgerald.

March 27: J’adore Ella – The French duo, Les Nubians, sisters Hélène and Célia Faussart from Bordeaux, France are known for melding African rhythms with jazz and R&B. This final evening of the festival will provide a glimpse of Fitzgerald’s influence as an internationally acclaimed jazz artist. In 1990, Fitzgerald received the French medal of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres) for her significant contributions to jazz.  Infusing traditional Fitzgerald with cultural notes from across the African diaspora, the Grammy-nominated singers offer a sophisticated ode to why the world loves Ella Fitzgerald. Guest curated by the Afro-Latino Festival NYC. WBGO Jazz 88.3FM/ is a media partner of the 2017 Women’s Jazz Festival.  (Image: Studio portrait of singer Ella Fitzgerald, circa 1940s, Photographs and Prints Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture). @SchomburgCenter #WJF2017

Cost: There is an admission charge for this event: $30: General Admission, $25: Schomburg Society Members (March 20th is FREE) – Purchase tickets via

Tickets.  Please note that holding seats in the Langston Hughes Auditorium is strictly prohibited and there is no food or drinks allowed anywhere in the Schomburg Center. 

Contact: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Phone: 917-275-6975

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture – 515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street




Black Power! Wikipedia Edit-a-thon 2017 Edition

Saturday, February 25, 2017 | 12:00pm – 5:00pm

wikipedia_edit-a-thon_-_feb_25_2017The Schomburg Center, working with the AfroCROWD initiative, is proud to host “Black Power! Wikipedia Edit-a-thon,” our third year initiative in which we invite members of the community and general public to contribute to content related to black history on Wikipedia for the national Black WikiHistory Month outreach campaign. For the first time, via video satellite, we’ll be able to unite with Wikipedia editors in Africa who will edit alongside us.

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, written collaboratively by the people who use it (crowdsourced). At this event, you will learn how Wikipedia works and how to add content to it. Take advantage of the rich resouces of the Schomburg library to write and edit entries on black history and culture. Volunteer Wikipedians, the experts, will also be on hand to provide support and instruction on working in Wikipedia.

The Wikipedia training and Edit-a-thon will be held in the Aaron Douglas Reading Room of the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division on the C-level (lower level) of the Schomburg Center. Stay for the entire afternoon or drop in any time between 12pm and 5pm.

Bring your own laptop, if possible. Laptops will also be available to check out with your NYPL library card.

Advanced wiki editing skills not required.  Passion for black history and culture is highly recommended!

If you’re new to Wikipedia, check out the Beginner’s guide to Wikipedia and make sure to create an account before Feb. 25th so you can get started right away.

A reception will follow the event at 5:00 pm.

Cost: FREE. Register at to RSVP.  FIRST COME, FIRST SEATED. For free events, we generally overbook to ensure full attendance. All registered spots are released 15 to 30 minutes before start time, so we recommend that you arrive early.  Guests, please note no food or drinks are allowed anywhere in the Schomburg Center.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture – 515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street

The Schomburg Center and THIRTEEN Present: American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

February 16, 2017 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm

maya_angelouNearly three years after Dr. Maya Angelou’s death sent the entire world into mourning, the Schomburg Center and THIRTEEN are proud to present a special preview of the new PBS documentary that offers an unprecedented look at the iconic singer, dancer, activist, poet, and writer’s life and career. American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise sheds light on the untold aspects of her life through never-before-seen footage, rare archival photographs and videos and her own words.

From her upbringing in the Depression-era South and her early performing career (1957’s Miss Calypso album and Calypso Heat Wave film, Jean Genet’s 1961 play The Blacks) to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana and her many writing successes, including her inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton, filmmakers Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack reveal hidden facets of Dr. Angelou’s life during some of America’s most defining moments. American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise also features exclusive interviews with Dr. Angelou, her friends and family, including Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Alfre Woodard, Cicely Tyson, Quincy Jones, Hillary Clinton, Louis Gossett, Jr., John Singleton, Diahann Carroll, Valerie Simpson, Random House editor Bob Loomis and Dr. Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson. Join us as we celebrate Dr. Angelou, her legacy, and the importance of black archival collections during Black History Month at the Schomburg Center. 

Cost: FREE. Please, Register via SchomburgCenter.Eventbrite.comRSVP

First come, first seated. Note, for free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. ALL registered seats are released 15 to 30 minutes before start time, so we recommend that you arrive early.

Contact: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Phone: 917-275-6975

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street

2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March

January 16, 2017 | 10:00am – 1:00pm

dr_martin_luther_king-pngManhattan Country School’s eighth graders will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by taking to the streets of Manhattan to speak out about what they consider to be the most pressing civil rights issues of their time. The theme of this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March is “We Will Not Be Silenced: A Call to Action,” inspired by the recent presidential election and King’s quote: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Along the march route, students will stop at locations of significance to the fight for civil rights to deliver speeches to raise awareness about issues such as racism, sexism, and environmental justice and advocate for inclusion and equality. The march begins at 10:00 a.m. at Riverside Church (490 Riverside Drive) and ends at Manhattan Country School (150 West 85th Street). The general public is invited to join MCS students, families, alumni, staff and supporters for this educational and uplifting annual event. Cost: Free

Phone: 212-348-0952

March Starting Point: Riverside Church

490 Riverside Drive btwn 120th St and 121st Streets

New York NY 10027 United States

Comrades reflect on Jimi Hendrix’s Harlem history

Jimi_Hendrix_1967_uncropped_t580Friday, Nov. 27, rock & roll aficionados across the country commemorated the 73rd anniversary of the physical birth of cultural icon Jimi Hendrix with numerous festivities. Locally, the annual tribute at B.B. Kings in Times Square featured a few of his band members performing renditions of his classic material.

Most of the U.S. embraces Hendrix as one of its own, from the hippie, flower-lovechild generation, but little mention is made of his grassroots affiliations while in Black Mecca during the rebellious Black Power era of the 1960s.

“He lived in Harlem with Faye, then moved to 96th Street and Central Park West,” reflected TaharQa Aleem, who along with his twin brother, Tunde Ra, were members of one of Hendrix’s bands, The Ghetto Fighters. “… All of his New York musical career, before he became famous, was in Harlem.” 

Aleem continued down memory lane as he recalled a young, undiscovered raw talent from Seattle, Wash., playing at Harlem’s popular nightspots of that time, namely Palm’s Café on 125th Street, and Small’s Paradise at 135th Street and 7th Avenue, as well as in local parks and subway stations.

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AUTODIDACT 17 | 12/17/2015, 1:13 p.m.

Columbia and Barnard celebrate acquisition of Arthur Mitchell’s archives with symposium

Columbia recently acquired the archives of dancer and choreographer Arthur Mitchell, who rose to fame in the 1950s when he became the first African-American principal dancer in the New York City Ballet.Article Image

Now 81, Mitchell hopes to use his archives, which will be held in Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library starting in 2017, as a way to bridge the growing gap between Columbia and Harlem due to the University’s Manhattanville expansions. The archives, which include photographs, posters, programs, clippings, correspondence, early film footage, and video content, chronicle Mitchell’s career.

Mitchell was honored on Monday night at Barnard with a screening of a film about his career and a panel discussion that featured famed actress and dancer Carmen de Lavallade, ballerina and Co-chair of Faculty at the School of American Ballet Kay Mazzo, and members of the Barnard dance department.

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By Veronica Suchodolski | October 27, 2015

Arthur Miller voiced the hopes and fears of ordinary Americans

The celebrated playwright was born 100 years ago today in Harlem, New York

Anyone fortunate enough to have met dramatist Arthur Miller, who was born 100 years ago today in Harlem, New York, Playwright Arthur Miller with wife Marilyn Monroe. File photograph: Keystone/Getty Imagesinvariably agrees he was a warm, regular guy: no airs and graces, possessed of a sense of humour, a handshake that could inspire confidence and a profound understanding of the problems facing his country, a diverse multicultural society at war with itself.

In common with Nobel Literature laureate Saul Bellow, who, born in June 1915, was a few months older and died some six weeks after him in 2005, Miller was the son of immigrants.

Whereas being Jewish was central to Bellow’s work, which took as its prevailing theme the Jew attempting to assimilate in the United States, Jewishness did not dominate Miller’s art – although he was very Jewish in speech and manner despite having lived in Connecticut for more than 50 years.

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By Eileen Battersby | October 17, 2015

East Harlem Pathmark land sold to make way for luxury apartments – but nonprofit involved in deal says they haven’t seen a dime

In April 2014, a group partially controlled by the Rev. Calvin Butts’ Abyssinian Development Corp. sold the site of a Pathmark supermarket at 125th St. and Lexington Ave. for $39 million to real estate giant Extell Development.Exported.;

Abyssinian completed the sale despite initial opposition from the site’s co-owners — the nonprofit Community Association of the East Harlem Triangle Inc. — and over objections from City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

But 18 months later, Abyssinian has yet to turn over more than $2 million that East Harlem Triangle was supposed to receive as part of its share, documents obtained by the Daily News show.

“We want to know where our money went,” said Derrick Taitt, board chairman of East Harlem Triangle.

“We had an agreement (with Abyssinian) to be a joint venture,” Taitt said, “but they kept cheating us and charging us for costs we never agreed to.”

Abyssinian, Harlem’s biggest affordable-housing manager and social service provider, is in such dire financial shape that it could not meet its payroll on a few occasions in recent months, Butts told The News last week.

Meanwhile, the de Blasio administration has suspended more than $3 million in city contracts after Abyssinian Development failed for three consecutive years to submit required tax filings and independent audits.

And now, records of the Pathmark land sale raise even more questions about Abyssinian’s finances.

They show that in March 2014, Abyssinian returned a $2 million deposit from Extell, after leaders of East Harlem Triangle discovered Abyssinian had secretly agreed to sell the land without notifying them.

The two groups had a 50-50 joint venture that was managed by a board of directors composed of four members from each.

After weeks of infighting, Abyssinian’s board members finally convinced one East Harlem Triangle board member to switch sides and approve the deal.

At the time, Butts rejected a personal appeal from Mark-Viverito to halt the transaction.

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By Juan Gonzalez | October 7, 2015