Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Petition for Medal of Freedom for Arturo Schomburg, father of Black History

Petition by carmen santana
Ridgewood, NY
Please read my letter to Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez.
My letter explains why Arturo Alfonso Schomburg's contributions to the USA and the world makes him worthy of the Medal of Freedom.

Nydia Velasquez, Member
United States Congress
7th Congressional District
266 Broadway, Suite 201
Brooklyn, New York 11211

March 24, 2014
Dear Congresswoman Velasquez:
I am writing to you regarding Arturo Alfonso Schomburg to respectfully
request that he be honored posthumously with the Medal of Freedom for
his many immeasurable contributions. The world of scholarship is indebted to
Arturo Alfonso Schomburg- black bibliophile, curator and self taught historian
whose private collection formed the nucleus of what is now one of the
outstanding collections concerning the history and culture of people of African
descent. At his death he bequeathed to posterity an organic monument whose
place in history has been assured.
                           “The Negro Digs Up His Past”
Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, also known as Arthur Schomburg was born
in Santurce Puerto Rico (January 24, 1874 to June 8, 1938) As a Puerto
Rican historian, writer, and activist in the United States who researched
and raised awareness of the great contributions that Afro-Latin
Americans and Afro Americans have made to society. In 1891,
Schomburg came to New York City where he became an activist with
the Revolutionary Committee of Puerto Rico, playing an integral role in
fighting for Puerto Rico and Cuba's independence from Spain. Living in
Harlem, Schomburg coined the term "afroborinqueno" to celebrate his
heritage as a Latino of African descent.
In 1918 the Schomburg family moved from Harlem to Brooklyn. Their
final residence was on Kosciusko Street. Although he lived in Brooklyn
for 20 years, Arturo Schomburg’s ties to the Harlem community
continued. Schomburg was especially involved in the budding literary
and social movement that started in Harlem and spread through black
communities across the country- “The Harlem Renaissance”.
In 1926, the New York Public Library purchased Schomburg's collection
of literature, art and other artifacts for $10,000. Schomburg was
appointed as the curator of the Schomburg Collection of Negro
Literature and Art at the 135th Street Branch of the New York Public
Library. Schomburg used the money from the sale of his collection to
add more artifacts of African history to the collection and traveled to
Spain, France, Germany, England and Cuba.
In addition to his contributions with the New York Public Library,
Schomburg was appointed curator of the Negro Collection at Fisk
University's library.
To support his family, Schomburg worked a variety of jobs--teaching
Spanish, working as a messenger and clerk in a law firm. However, his
passion was identifying artifacts that disproved the notion that people of
African descent had no history or achievements. Schomburg's first
article, "Is Hayti Decadent?" appeared in a 1904 issue of The Unique
Advertiser.In 1909, Schomburg wrote a profile on the poet and
independence fighter, Gabriel de la Concepcion Valdez entitled Placido
a Cuban Martyr.
The Harlem community, scholars of Black History and Culture and the
NYC Public Library so honored and respected Schomburg’s magnificent
contributions to Black History and Culture that they named the 135th
Street Branch after him. It is now- in his legacy of scholarship and
excellence- one of the leading public research libraries in the world.
Clearly, if there was just one Puerto Rican scholar deserving of the
Medal of Freedom, it would be Arturo Alfonso Schomburg.
President of the United States
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York
Rep. Nydia Velazquez, New York-07
I am asking President Obama to honor posthumously Arturo Alfonso Schomburg with the Medal of Freedom.

Carmen Santana
[Your name]
SIGN PETITION: https://www.change.org/p/rep-nydia-velazquez-i-am-asking-president-obama-to-honor-posthumously-arturo-alfonso-schomburg-with-the-medal-of-freedom

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