Profiles in the Diaspora: Re-thinking Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, the Afro-Puerto Rican Father of the Global African Diaspora

Profiles in the Diaspora: Re-thinking Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, the Afro-Puerto Rican Father of the Global African Diaspora

Okay Africa: International Edition
2017-05-06

David Pastor


Arturo Alfonso Schomburg

Editor’s Note: In the inaugural edition of our Weekend Reading series, journalist David Pastor reviews new work on the legendary black scholar Arturo Alfonso Schomburg that helps reinstate his Puerto Rican identity.

NEW YORK CITY—Arturo Schomburg, namesake of the renowned Schomburg Center for Research in Black History in Harlem, is said to have identified as an afro-borinqueño, a Puerto Rican of African descent. Yet there has been a delay in acknowledging this ethnic component of his racial identity—his legacy so closely tied to the Harlem Renaissance, black history and culture.

Even during his lifetime, there were misconceptions concerning Arturo Schomburg and his intersectional background, including assertions that he had forgotten his native tongue; lost his culture, his interest in Puerto Rico, etc. Later, conflicting, often simplified views on Schomburg emerged and characterized him almost exclusively as a black scholar whose Puerto Rican identity had seemingly diminished upon his integration into the African-American community…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,