Thursday, February 23, 2017

REMEMBER: ARTURO ALFONSO SCHOMBURG


For Black History Month this year, HB will re-publish some of the archival history posts that are now half a decade old themselves.  Many of the Harlem Renaissance figures are noted for their accomplishments by historians but little has been preserved uptown to mark the places they lived in or established during that remarkable decade.  

When growing up in Puerto Rico, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg was told in school that blacks did not have any history of value and that would lead to a lifetimes work in proving his teachers wrong.  Schomburg would move to Harlem in the late 19th Century and would become an activist in collecting the history of African Latin Americans and African Americans. This avid search of cultural history would coincide with the great migration and eventually the Harlem Renaissance.

Even though the middle class Schomburg had various jobs such as a messenger, printer, elevator operator or clerk, he began to publish intellectual works such as Is Hayti Decadent? in 1904 to raise awareness of Caribbean culture.  Other works would follow and the rigorous collector would then become one of the founding members of the Negro Society of Historical Research in 1911.

The New York Public Library purchase Arturo Schomburg's collection of literature and art by 1926 which would eventually be part of today's Schomburg Center at 135th Street.  Originally the collection of over 5,000 pieces was housed within the first Countee Cullen Library in the Mckim, Mead and White building located just west of Lenox but the much larger Schomburg Center would be constructed around the corner in 1980 at 515 Lenox Avenue.

For more on the Schomburg Center in Central Harlem, check out the official NYP website: LINK

DRINK: LGBT THURSDAYS AT HARLEM NIGHTS

A friend who lives by the Strivers Row neighborhood recently mentioned to us Harlem Nights on 7th Avenue at the corner of 138th has an LGBT-friendly evening on Thursdays.  The casual bar known for cheap drinks apparently really brings in a diverse crowd every week and might be a good spot to check out for those looking for a new place to socialize uptown.  Harlem's gay nightlife appears to be slowly developing in the area since Alibi opened last year across the street as the only official LGBT bar in the neighborhood.  Check more on Harlem Nights in our past post: LINK

SHOP: BO'S BAGELS UPDATE

The storefront for Harlem's first bagel bakery has pretty much finished up over on the north side of 116th just east of 8th Avenue but when will the artisan shop actually open?  We could tell that everything is ready on the inside and Bo's appears to be hiring now so we reached out to the owners on an opening date.  Basically all of the final inspections have been successful and now the only thing that is holding things up is the turn on date for the gas.  Everyone knows that the city can be pretty vague about this important detail but an opening in the next couple of weeks might actually be happening if all goes well.  More on Bo's Bagel can be found in our past post: LINK

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