Schomburg
In luminous paintings and arresting poems, two of children's literature's top African-American scholars track Arturo Schomburg's quest to correct history. Where is our historian to give us our side? Arturo asked. Amid the scholars, poets, authors, and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro-Puerto Rican named Arturo Schomburg. This law clerk's life's passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and bring to light the achievements of people of African descent through the ages. When Schomburg's collection became so big it began to overflow his house (and his wife threatened to mutiny), he turned to the New York Public Library, where he created and curated a collection that was the cornerstone of a new Negro Division. A century later, his groundbreaking collection, known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has become a beacon to scholars all over the world.

Schomburg Details

TitleSchomburg
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 12th, 2017
PublisherCandlewick Press
ISBN-139780763680466
Rating
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Biography, Nonfiction, History, Cultural, African American

Schomburg Review

  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully illustrated but of questionable accuracy, this brief middle-grade illustrated book uses Arturo (Arthur) Schomburg's biography and passion for academic study of Africana to uncover quieted names in world history. While the structure is unique, the writing is engaging and sound, and the artwork is flat-out gorgeous, there are factual points that are concerning. John James Audubon's mother was a French woman from Nance who had been working as a servant in the Audubon household, and was Beautifully illustrated but of questionable accuracy, this brief middle-grade illustrated book uses Arturo (Arthur) Schomburg's biography and passion for academic study of Africana to uncover quieted names in world history. While the structure is unique, the writing is engaging and sound, and the artwork is flat-out gorgeous, there are factual points that are concerning. John James Audubon's mother was a French woman from Nance who had been working as a servant in the Audubon household, and was NOT of Creole origin, which has been extensively documented. Also, Beethoven's mother was Flemish (which has historical ties with Spanish Moors), although no mention has been made of his being of African blood by contemporary sources, which would have been made mention in the culturally liberal Vienna, especially by his erstwhile (African-European) friend George Bridgetower. I'm a fan of presenting lesser-known histories to children and adults, and I'm also a fan of using documented truths to do so. This book fails in the latter.All the same, it is an inspirational story of how a person can come from beleaguered circumstances and, through curiosity, cunning and perseverance, can make a global, historical and cultural impact that carries on for generations.
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  • Kirsten
    January 1, 1970
    This verse biography of Arturo Schomburg is intended for children and teens, but I absolutely recommend it to everyone. Weatherford poetically and succinctly tells the life story and accomplishments of this truly remarkable individual. Schomburg was an Afro-Puerto Rican book collector whose work to unearth literature and artwork from African and the African diaspora formed the backbone for the Harlem Renaissance and for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. I didn't know anything a This verse biography of Arturo Schomburg is intended for children and teens, but I absolutely recommend it to everyone. Weatherford poetically and succinctly tells the life story and accomplishments of this truly remarkable individual. Schomburg was an Afro-Puerto Rican book collector whose work to unearth literature and artwork from African and the African diaspora formed the backbone for the Harlem Renaissance and for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. I didn't know anything about him, and I found his story thrilling and inspiring. Pura Belpre award winner Eric Velasquez illustrates with gorgeous paintings of Schomburg and his family, as well as of his research subjects. This is a must-buy for every library collection that serves youth, and a must-read for everyone who needs an introduction to the life and work of this man.
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  • Edward Sullivan
    January 1, 1970
    I love the subject matter so I wish the narrative here were better executed. Weatherford's choice to introduce famous African Americans detracts from Schomberg's story and the whole narrative seems rather text heavy for a picture book biography.
  • Gwen Bumpers
    January 1, 1970
    While I do wish the book focused a little more on the life story of Schomburg, it is a great tool to show children the contributions that people of color made to American history.
  • Beverly
    January 1, 1970
    I was somewhat appalled that this educated gentleman organized his vast library of books by color and size, and even fired a librarian who wanted to organize them by Dewey classifications! Otherwise, an interesting story about this immigrant turned historian. Eric Velasquez's paintings are superb.
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  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    January 1, 1970
    Arturo Schomburg was shamed as a child for wanting to learn about famous black figures in history. He resolved to find out everything he could about them and to share this knowledge with the world. He did.This book is the mesmerizing story of a man who sought out and researched and documented black history. The illustrations show people who proudly broke barriers in the past, and they add greatly to the beautifully written story.
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  • ❇Critterbee
    January 1, 1970
    In-depth picture book biography of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, an intellectual, bibliophile, activist, historian, writer, curator, and protector of knowledge. The story is told in verse, with beautiful illustrations, a thorough timeline, source notes and a small bibliography.Also, apparently he filed the books in his collection by size and color.This is a must-have for school libraries.
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  • Amy Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    So I really thought I was going to be over the moon about this book, I mean it is about a guy who built a library for crying out loud. What Arthur Schomburg accomplished is amazing, but the way the information was presented just wasn't for me it just seemed very dry. I did like it; I just didn't REALLY like it.
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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    What a beautiful homage, though very text heavy for a picture book, about Schomburg's love of literature for the simple fact that it would build the African history that was assumed to not exist or be whitewashed. Schomburg could not tolerate the idea that African history would not be collected, shared, celebrated as it should have been. He was tenacious in his work life and even overcame obstacles that shouldn't have been obstacles to continue to build the amazing body of work. The book celebra What a beautiful homage, though very text heavy for a picture book, about Schomburg's love of literature for the simple fact that it would build the African history that was assumed to not exist or be whitewashed. Schomburg could not tolerate the idea that African history would not be collected, shared, celebrated as it should have been. He was tenacious in his work life and even overcame obstacles that shouldn't have been obstacles to continue to build the amazing body of work. The book celebrates his life and those of a specific African Americans who contributed to the narrative. It's essentially a small group of biographies within a larger biography. And who doesn't LOVE the cover. If only everyone cared as much about their history as Schomburg cared about the history's history of Africans.
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  • Kelsey
    January 1, 1970
    Age: 3rd-5th gradeSeeking to break the shackles of ignorance and liberate fellow African Americans and black people, Schomburg sought to unearth long hidden histories of influential black people in order to provide inspiration for the future. The writing is poetically informational, weaving strength and wonder through the biographies of under recognized figureheads such as Louverture, Nat Turner, and Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Schomburg also researched the clever tool of oppression known as whi Age: 3rd-5th gradeSeeking to break the shackles of ignorance and liberate fellow African Americans and black people, Schomburg sought to unearth long hidden histories of influential black people in order to provide inspiration for the future. The writing is poetically informational, weaving strength and wonder through the biographies of under recognized figureheads such as Louverture, Nat Turner, and Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Schomburg also researched the clever tool of oppression known as whitewashing to reveal the African roots of Alexandre Dumas, John James Audubon, Pushkin, and potentially Beethoven.Weaving these stories amidst the dedicated research of Schomburg's life was masterfully done. However, the text begins to get name heavy, turning into an unreadable list at times. Although I've given this 4 stars, whenever I come across text heavy picture books, I wonder if the intended audience of older grade school kids scoff at the childlike presentation.
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  • Bill
    January 1, 1970
    Very interesting focal character. But a somewhat strange choice to use him as a means of introducing a host of African American luminaries. As a result, the text ends up more as a listing of facts and anecdotes rather than a compelling informational text that weaves a narrative.Also, the picture book format seems not well-suited to the amount of text contained in this book. Probably would have worked better as an illustrated book.
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  • Jo Oehrlein
    January 1, 1970
    A picture book for an older child -- there's a LOT of text on every page and a lot to digest. Arthur Schomburg had links to many famous people of his time and he collected information about and books from many other famous people.This is about the founding of a library of history of black people, but much more. It's about knowing that all people have a history worth remembering.
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  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    This picture book biography shows the important impact one person can have when on a quest for knowledge. Schomburg was a man of Afro-Puerto Rican heritage who collected books, manuscripts, letters and more to show the achievements of people from African descent. These achievements were not in history books and not reflected in the national narrative at all. As he studied, he proved over and over again that black culture was unrepresented despite the incredible discoveries and art it contributed This picture book biography shows the important impact one person can have when on a quest for knowledge. Schomburg was a man of Afro-Puerto Rican heritage who collected books, manuscripts, letters and more to show the achievements of people from African descent. These achievements were not in history books and not reflected in the national narrative at all. As he studied, he proved over and over again that black culture was unrepresented despite the incredible discoveries and art it contributed to the world. Schomburg’s library was eventually donated to the New York Public Library where you can visit it today. Weatherford highlights not just Schomburg’s own contribution to knowledge of black culture, but also shows other individuals that Schomburg discovered in his research. She does so via poems, some about specific people others about the books and research and many about Schomburg’s own life. The art by Velasquez is rich and beautiful, offering a dynamic visual for the fluid poetry. An important and timely read. Appropriate for ages 6-9.
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  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful and fascinating and packed with things I didn't know and should have! Schomburg's passion for books, research and the overlooked and ignored history of his people is inspiring although it must have been a challenge to live with his ever-growing collection of books! I loved the story of how he arranged his collection - by size and color of the books!As much as I liked it, the structure of the book and the introduction of so many historical individuals makes this a more complex read and Beautiful and fascinating and packed with things I didn't know and should have! Schomburg's passion for books, research and the overlooked and ignored history of his people is inspiring although it must have been a challenge to live with his ever-growing collection of books! I loved the story of how he arranged his collection - by size and color of the books!As much as I liked it, the structure of the book and the introduction of so many historical individuals makes this a more complex read and more suited to upper elementary or middle school. That said, it will take some hand selling with that group. Perhaps the best idea is to use it in the classroom first where it has a myriad of applications and then students will definitely want to read it on their own.I loved Velasquez's illustrations which really brings Schomburg and his important story to life.
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  • orangerful
    January 1, 1970
    I learned so much from this brief story - a look at the life and legacy of Arthur Schomburg. His dedication to finding heroes of African descent brought to light so many great stories. I wish that more of this information was common knowledge and that his quest to bring history to light had permeated even more of American culture and schooling. Get this into the hands of the readers who wonder why they don't see more of themselves in the history books - maybe you'll inspire the next Schomburg!
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  • June
    January 1, 1970
    Inspirational! "The American Negro must remake his past in order to make his future....History must restore what slavery took away." Weatherford tells of Arturo's quest after being told in fifth grade that African's had no history and no heroes worth noting.
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  • Shari
    January 1, 1970
    Another notable African American (Puerto Rican) that I had never heard of! It is the "Hidden Figures Effect." Schomberg is a law clerk and an amateur historian who amassed a collection of African American history books, art, and artifacts that become part of the New York Public Library collection.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    This book is amazing. Anyone who is interested in the truth about history should read it, regardless of age.
  • Sue Poduska
    January 1, 1970
    So much information is contained in this book, but the reader has so much more to learn. A great starting place.
  • Veronica Manthei
    January 1, 1970
    An incredible biography of Arturo Schomburg, bibliophile and Africana collector.
  • Jasmine
    January 1, 1970
    Really enjoyed the structure of the book, with tiny biographies embedded within the overarching story of Schomburg's passion for finding and preserving the history of accomplishment and achievement by African-Americans and black people worldwide. The book kinda sets it up as absurd that a teacher would tell their students that there were no accomplishments by black people in history, and of course it is. What a desecration and willful erasing of history. But as I read it, I realized that that's Really enjoyed the structure of the book, with tiny biographies embedded within the overarching story of Schomburg's passion for finding and preserving the history of accomplishment and achievement by African-Americans and black people worldwide. The book kinda sets it up as absurd that a teacher would tell their students that there were no accomplishments by black people in history, and of course it is. What a desecration and willful erasing of history. But as I read it, I realized that that's what I was taught/learned/absorbed, until I started taking deliberate steps to repopulate my view of history. I didn't realize Alexandre Dumas was black until I was in university. I learned about George Washington Carver and his peanut science when I was in my late teens, only? From a placemat, I think. I learned that St. Nicholas was North African in my mid twenties. There are so many historically important people of colour I never learned about, and so many historically important people whose colour was just — never mentioned. (Funny, that.) And so I mentally filled in my picture of history with repeats of the few pictures I got. Hey presto, history is only wealthy white dudes who do a lot of posing on battlefields and on horses and next to desks. It was only when I started getting annoyed that there were so few women mentioned that I realized so many other types of people just never showed up in my mental scroll through time. And then in looking for them, history started to come alive with real people, not just paintings of dudes with their hands in their waistcoats.Anyways so that's why Schomburg's work, and history books like this, are so important. Cause it's not just willful hatred/racism that gets entire classes of people erased from history, it's also lack of imagination and extrapolating too far that comes after the racism, and compounds it.
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    Amid the scholars, poets, authors and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro-Puerto Rican named Auturo Schomberg. This law clerks life's passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and to bring to light the achievements of people of African descent throughout the ages. When Schomburg's collection became so big that it began to overflow his house (and his wife threatened to mutiny), he turned to the New York Public Library, where he created Amid the scholars, poets, authors and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro-Puerto Rican named Auturo Schomberg. This law clerks life's passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and to bring to light the achievements of people of African descent throughout the ages. When Schomburg's collection became so big that it began to overflow his house (and his wife threatened to mutiny), he turned to the New York Public Library, where he created and curated a collected a collection that was the cornerstone of a new Negro Division. A century later, his groundbreaking collection, known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has become a beacon to scholars all over the world.
    more
  • Kristi Starr
    January 1, 1970
    Schomburg: The Man Who Built A Library is a biography of Arturo Schomburg, born in Puerto Rico, immigrated to America, ardent bibliophile, and collector of materials that showcased the contributions of men and women of African heritage from around the world. We read not only about Schomburg and how he grew his collection, but what he learned about famous men and women such as Phyllis Wheatley, Benjamin Banneker, Alexander Pushkin, and Toussaint Louverture. Schomburg eventually sold his collectio Schomburg: The Man Who Built A Library is a biography of Arturo Schomburg, born in Puerto Rico, immigrated to America, ardent bibliophile, and collector of materials that showcased the contributions of men and women of African heritage from around the world. We read not only about Schomburg and how he grew his collection, but what he learned about famous men and women such as Phyllis Wheatley, Benjamin Banneker, Alexander Pushkin, and Toussaint Louverture. Schomburg eventually sold his collection to the Carnegie Corporation, who donated it to the New York Public Library. He served as the curator of the NYPL's Division of Negro History, Literature, and Prints, renamed the Schomburg Collection for Negro History, Literature and Prints in 1940, two years after his death. The collection was designated a research library and renamed the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in 1972. Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Eric Velasquez have created a book full of beautiful illustrations and rich historical content. As a child, Arturo Schomburg bristled at the injustice of being able to find information about historical and literary contributions of men and women of color. Weatherford brings to our attention names both familiar and new. Schomburg would have reveled in such a book.
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  • Leslie
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting book about Arturo Schomburg whose life was dedicated to seeking out and sharing history of people of African descent. I hope to visit the library named for him one day. Gorgeous illustrations.
  • Paula
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent book. Very interesting and informative. Art work nice too.
  • Evan
    January 1, 1970
    Arturo Schomburg was a man determined to learn the history of his people. Interestingly enough, little is said in the history books about this self-taught man who went on to create one of the largest libraries of black history and culture.
  • Cheryl Neer
    January 1, 1970
    Informative non fiction book about little known Arturo Schomburg, credited with collecting books on African American History. The amount of text makes this picture book less picture and more text.
  • Linda Atkinson
    January 1, 1970
    One is never too old to learn new things. 5+ stars
  • Marcie
    January 1, 1970
    Great read aloud or beginning point for study during African American History month. High up in choice for Correta Scott King awards.
  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    I know that many are talking about this book. I feel that every teacher should share this with their middle grade and older students, or every parent should share with their even younger children, bit by bit, then researching more about those people that Schomburg learned about, those whose "works", first writing, then art, he collected during his entire life. Carole Boston Weatherford uses Arthur (born Arturo) Schomburg's own words as an opening quote: "The American Negro must remake his past i I know that many are talking about this book. I feel that every teacher should share this with their middle grade and older students, or every parent should share with their even younger children, bit by bit, then researching more about those people that Schomburg learned about, those whose "works", first writing, then art, he collected during his entire life. Carole Boston Weatherford uses Arthur (born Arturo) Schomburg's own words as an opening quote: "The American Negro must remake his past in order to make his future. . . .History must restore what slavery took away." I became angry as I read this book, so filled with bits of historical figures who were never written about in my own years-ago history textbooks. Oh, I may have heard a little about Fredrick Douglas or probably George Washington Carver, but few others, until I got to college. Yet even then, there were limits. Carole Boston Weatherford has chosen to write Schomburg's story as a timeline, telling of the first spark that made him curious and determined. A teacher told him that "Africa's sons and daughters had no history, no heroes worth noting." He did not stop searching and learning, first enthralled by an early almanac written by Benjamin Banneker, self-taught inventor, astronomer, and draftsman. The book is a sort of list, and shown beautifully with Weatherford's descriptions through the years of Schomburg's studies, are Eric Velasquez's illustrations. He shows Schomburg aging but surrounded by those very heroes and the artifacts representative of what they created, which his teacher said did not exist. Through all the years, Schomburg's collection grew and grew. He married three times, had children, and continued searching and collecting. The end result is that his last wife threatened to leave unless something was done to move the collection somewhere else. The beginning of its fate began with The Carnegie Corporation which bought it for $10,000. and donated it to the New York City Library's Division of Negro History, Literature, and Prints. This through the years has become a new Schomburg Center which opened in 1980. There is much more I could share, but as I wrote at the beginning, everyone should read this book. Carole Boston Weatherford has added a timeline, source notes, and a bibliography. She shares that Arturo Schomburg placed a personal nameplate in every book he collected, and there is one at the back of the book that tells what his bookplate was like, with a brief comment. It's a fitting ending.
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