Historian and educator
Born: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Schomburg was among the first to acknowledge the importance
of the African presence in the history of Puerto Rico
and the Americas. A self-described “Afroborinquen” (black
Puerto Rican), he set about documenting the history
of Africans in the New World, refuting the prevalent
idea of his time that there was no African history.
His collection of slave narratives, rare books, art,
and other artifacts form the cornerstone of the New
York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research
in Black Culture.