In honor of Black History Month, let’s learn more about Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, a Puerto Rican historian, writer, curator, and activist!
Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico in 1874, Schomburg was the son of a Puerto Rican merchant of German descent and an Afro-Caribbean woman from the Danish West Indies. He spent the majority of his time in Puerto Rico until moving to New York City at age 17.
Upon arrival in New York City, Schomburg began supporting the Puerto Rican and Cuban independence movements. He also continued to develop his interest in Black history, which was spurred early on in his childhood when a grade school teacher told him that Black culture lacked a noteworthy history.
Schomburg made it his mission and life’s work to collect and write about African and African diasporic contributions to history and culture. His influence on the Harlem Renaissance was enormous, and his extensive collection of intellectual, artistic, and cultural legacies of African and individuals of African descent forms the foundation for the present-day Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.
Explore more about the life of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg below and find even more in-depth information using our extensive databases.
Research & learn with your Oak Park library card & PIN
Search for Arturo Alfonso Schomburg using:
Explore more digital resources
- Learn about the The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem »
- Listen to a segment from NPR’s Latino USA discussing Arturo Schomburg »
- Find resources for teachers »
Read this article & book
- Read a newspaper article from the Amsterdam News discussing briefly Schomburg’s experiences in New York City »
- Check out Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library »