25. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (1925)
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Photo courtesy New York Public Library.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is a New York Public Library research library on Malcolm X Boulevard that serves as an archive repository for Black culture worldwide. From poems by Phyllis Wheatley to papers by Malcolm X and Ralph Bunche, the Center is home to everything from manuscripts to rare books to photographs depicting Black culture. The center also houses documents signed by Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture and a recording of a speech given by Jamaican activist Marcus Garvey.
Named after Afro-Puerto Rican scholar Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, the Center often hosts readings, art exhibitions, and workshops, and it is currently directed by Guggenheim Fellow Kevin Young. In the past, the Center has put on influential exhibitions like Malcolm X: the Search for Truth, the controversial Give me your poor…, and “Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery.” The Schomburg Collection today stands at over 10 million objects written, created, and designed by people of African descent from countries like South Africa, Nigeria, and Trinidad and Tobago.