WRITING BLACKNESS: HARLEM | PARIS
Writing Blackness: Harlem | Paris is an exploration of the Harlem Renaissance through the Schomburg Center collection. This exhibit was inspired by literary salons, convening spaces where intellectual and arts movements were fostered through dialogue and the exchange of ideas among cultural producers. The Harlem Renaissance and Négritude, as literary and ideological movements, advanced the visibility and form of black cultural and political thought. Artistic and cultural works illustrated a new understanding of blackness within the Diaspora that echoed intellectual and scholarly interrogations of race consciousness, solidarity and pride. From its origins, the Schomburg Center was at the heart of the New Negro Renaissance, and has a large repository of archival materials on Harlem and the black world from this period. Writing Blackness aims to incite intellectual engagement by ‘activating’ the collection, making items accessible in a living space — literally, a 2 bedroom apartment in an affordable housing, educational and cultural arts mixed-use development. This exhibition illustrates Arturo A. Schomburg’s pivotal role in collecting materials and supporting the cultural movements of the ‘new negro’ that travelled between Harlem and Paris and the center’s continued legacy of preserving and providing access to materials documenting the global Black experience.
Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf and Ladi’Sasha Jones, Curators
Photo Credit, Photographs and Prints Division, Schomburg Center for research in Black Culture, NYPL