Sunday, January 24, 2010

Arturo Alfonso Schomburg

Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico on January 24,1874, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg would become an important figure in both Puerto Rican and African American history. A historian, writer and activist, Arturo researched and raised awareness regarding the contributions made to society by Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Americans.

While in grade school, a teacher told Alfonso that black people had no history, heroes or accomplishments. Proving this wrong would become his life's work. He would set of to find and document the everything he could about Africans and African-Americans, including Afro-Latinos.

In 1891, he made his way to New York where he became a member of the "Revolutionary Committee of Puerto Rico." He would also teach Spanish and work at several jobs to support himself and his family. Throughout this time he would search everywhere for books by and about African people. He would also collect any material he could get his hands on amassing a sizable collection. In 1926, The New York Public Library purchased his collection and appointed him curator of the Schomburg Collection of Negro Literature and Art, later renamed the Arthur Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

The purchase allowed Arturo to fund his travels so to seek out further works to add to his collection. Arturo died on June 8, 1938.

In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante named Arturo Alfonso Schomburg to his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. His legacy serves as an inspiration to Puerto Ricans, Latinos and Afro-Americans alike.


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Africawithin (bio)
  3. Africawithin (Afroborinqueño)
  4. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
  5. The Father of Black History Remembered
  6. Puerto Rico en Breve


  1. I love how you introduce me to people and history I was not aware of. Thanks.

  2. Thank you, Judith...history doesn't end with what we learn in school via supplied history books. The accomplishments of Puerto Ricans goes beyond what is readily available and easily heard of. Thanks again for your comments.

  3. Was he very important during the harlem renasissance or more in puerto rico?

  4. Quite simply, much more important during the Harlem renaissance. Nonetheless, his selfless contributions are what should be noted and a source of pride to all.