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The Black New Yorkers The Schomburg Illustrated Chronology Experience 400 years of African American culture and achievement in Americas greatest city "The Black New Yorkers will no doubt prove to be a document for the ages: a timely, highly informative record of the significant and multifaceted enrichment provided by our forebears and contemporaries to the evolution of one of the worlds greatest cities." Jessye Norman "This fascinating book says to the world that New York has been made great by the achievements of many people, including the black New Yorkers who have struggled here, who succeeded here, and who continue to work to make this city great." H. Carl McCall "The Black New Yorkers: The Schomburg Illustrated Chronology is a book for all New Yorkers and for all Americans. It chronicles our storythe lives and times of people who for nearly four centuries have been creating a presence and a voice for themselves in the city, the nation, and the world." Maya Angelou from her Foreword Featuring more than 200 striking photographs, rare documents, and vintage illustrations from the Schomburgs world-famous collection, and packed with thousands of fascinating details, The Black New Yorkers offers an unparalleled view of African American life. Afterword by David Dinkins The Black New Yorkers is the companion volume to the Schomburg Center exhibit as well as a resource for the PBS history of New York City. With over 200 illustrations and 480 pages, it traces the nearly 400-year-old black presence in New York--from the appearance of the free Afro-Caribbean trader Jan Rodriguez in 1613, through the majesty of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, to the infamous 1998 Million Youth March. As Howard Dodson writes in his introduction, "Here is an unparalleled reference source designed to answer your questions about the history of Black New York," and "a fascinating story of great achievement and struggle in a dynamic global context." Indeed, we learn that West Indians and native-born blacks make Brooklyn, not Harlem, the largest concentration of people of African descent in the U.S. We also learn of Liberty, a mid-19th-century drawing of a black woman that may have been the model for the Statue of Liberty. We discover that the bebop revolution was ushered in by Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk in Harlem--and that salsa and Latin jazz were also born there, thanks to musicians such as Mario Bauza, Tito Puente, and Eddie Palmieri, who blended Afro-Cuban and Afro-American rhythms and musical forms. The collection also contains excellent biographical listings, from Samuel Cornish--founder of the abolitionist newspaper Freedom's Journal in 1827--to the city's first black mayor, David Dinkins. The Black New Yorkers reveals the wealth not only of the Big Apple but also of the Schomburg Center, arguably the most exhaustive resource on the African diaspora. --Eugene Holley Jr.
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