Monday, June 18, 2007

Schomburg's Legacy & Other Great Places To See

As the Summer is upon us one will see Latin-American activities taking place left and right. Parades, street fairs. Well if one wants to know about the Latin scene here in New York City and good libraries/research institutions.

Schomburg Library in Harlem Located at 135 Street and Lenox Avenue
this institution has the source for information on African/Afro-American History in the country. Some say in the world. All one has to do take the Number 2 train to 135 Lenox see a Brown building you are there. One can go hear the famous “I have a dream speech” by Martin Luther King during the march on Washington D.C. in August 1963. You can also hear speeches by Malcolm X. All the transcripts of all these speeches are there. There’s also a fine information one can check out about the migration of Africans to Latin-America, North America. Learn about the slave trade taking place in the Caribbean prior to someone named Columbus. The slave uprisings that took place everywhere, the leaders, who they inspired. Most importantly Arturo Schomburg born/raised in Puerto Rico was described by other libraries which serve both the Latin/African communities “Inspiration to all libraries!

Center for the Puerto Rican Studies
An easy commute, just take the Number 6 train to 68 street and Lexington Avenue, inside the Hunter College library just make a left you will find Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library. The library has the largest Puerto Rican Archive in the entire country.
The librarians know what they are doing, they serve you with a smile. The bad news one cannot borrow books from the library, good news one can read, make copies. To add, the library has videos/dvds on Puerto Rican Documentaries which American History books have never provided to the people. One will learn about back since the 1850’s there has been a Puerto Rican community here in the New York City. Many of who were activist here, among them Ramon Emerterio Betances a doctor, writer, journalist, poet, playwright. The poetry of notable poets who were born/raised/lived in New York City, their political activism, their inspirations towards the hip-hop scene.

Among them Piri Thomas who wrote the book “Down These Mean Streets” which recently was chosen one of the best books about New York City. This year 2007 marks the 40 anniversary of the publication. The works of Julia De Burgos the first Puerto Rican Poet/woman to open doors for poets in the Latin Community here in NYC, currently the neighborhood of East Harlem dedicated a street to her in her honor. One can see the name on 106 street and Lexington Avenue. The documentaries they have one can see them at the library and the person will provided a list of them. One popular area which many like to read about/study “The Young Lords! They have two powerful documentaries on them, one of which was put together by a former Young Lord Iris Morales titled “Palante Y Siempre Palante Young Lords Party! One will see a lot of familiar faces, both documentaries show the work of the lords, and show the impact they have made within the community. To know about the Centro Library you can go to their website which will give you information on their hours.

The Center for Dominican Studies
When the media often talks about the Dominican Community it’s often when one hits a home-run or strikes out 20 men in one game. If one wants to know more about the history of the Dominican Republic, the Washington Heights Community(considered the Dominican Capitol of the U.S.) go this library. The library is very similar to the Centro of Puerto Rican Studies. They have books where one can read, make copies, documentaries, which the American History and the American Media doesn’t provide. The library was founded around the time the crack/drug epidemic like the other neighborhoods of color were effected at the same time a young Dominican Male was assassinated by a New York Police Officer the media went frenzy in their reporting. The location of the library is in the right place City College. It’s open to the public, the librarians there are friendly/helpful, a proud source for information on Dominican Culture, Immigration, History, just like the Centro they will give you contacts on other Dominican Studies Departments in City University, and provide sources of information on Puerto Rican Studies Departments, Latin-American Departments as well.
If one wants to know more about the library check out their website at

Center for Cuban Studies
Cuba is a four-letter to the U.S. government. There’s an embargo on them, Platt Amendment, Bay of Pigs, Operation Mongoose. Want to know about any of these events why Cuban-American Relations are so hot! Visit the Center for Cuban Studies located at 124 West 23 Street NY, NY for info you can give them a buzz at 212-242-0559. They have a fine collection of books where one can purchase, t-shirts. They also provide up to date information on trips to Cuba. The center was founded in the year 1972 gives you good information/history something of which what was mentioned earlier American History books hardly never provide.

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