Source: A Walk Through Harlem
Funding for the VITAL/Ready to Teach collection was secured through the United States Department of Education under the Ready to Teach Program.
Arturo Schomburg, a historian, writer and collector of artifacts of African culture and history, was an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Today, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is a national research library that collects, preserves and provides access to resources documenting the history and experiences of peoples of African descent. This video segment from A Walk Through Harlem discusses Schomburg's life and talks about some of the important writers and poets of the Harlem Renaissance.
American history, African American history, literature, Harlem Renaissance, poets
The following Frame, Focus and Follow-up suggestions are best suited for middle school students using this video in an English language arts or social studies lesson. Be sure to modify the questions to meet your students' instructional needs.
What is Frame, Focus and Follow-up?
Frame (ELA) What does it mean to look at something from a social perspective? When we talk about looking at something from a social perspective we consider behavior, interactions, ideas, and values of a community. Try looking at yourself from a social perspective. Describe your ideas, values or behavior. Now apply the same guidelines to your community.
Focus (ELA) Determine what social perspectives are presented in this video segment.
Follow Up (ELA) Discuss the social perspectives presented in this video segment. Why is it important as a reader and viewer to be able to consider the social perspectives of a text? How does it help us comprehend the text?
Frame (SS) What contributions to the world do you associate with Africa? What contributions do you associate with people from the African diaspora, meaning African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans or other descendants of Africa living outside of the continent? Are there contributions to the world that you associate with other groups, countries or cultures?
Focus (SS) As you watch, look for information about Arturo Schomburg’s collection of artifacts. Is this collection important historically? How about culturally?
Follow Up (SS) Discuss the contributions of the people mentioned in the video. How did these people help shape the attitudes of African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance? Why was it important for the attitudes held by and about African American people to change? Discuss why Arturo Schomburg’s collection was important historically and culturally. Is the Schomburg collection still relevant today?
DAVID HARTMAN: What was so significant about this man Arturo Schomburg that they named all of this after him?
PROFESSOR KATE RUSHIN: Arturo Schombug was an historian, writer and a collector of materials on African American culture and history. And by 1926, he had amassed one of the largest collections of African American materials in the world. He had ten thousand pieces in his collection which were purchased by the Carnegie Corporation on behalf of the New York public library.
DAVID HARTMAN: And where did they house all of this?
BARRY LEWIS: The original collection was housed in the old 135th Street branch of the New York Public Library which is actually connected to the building where we are now.
DAVID HARTMAN: What happened in his life that he devoted himself to this?
PROFESSOR KATE RUSHIN: Well as the story goes, a teacher announced, he’s a young person in Puerto Rico, that African Americans and people of African dissent had made no significant contributions to the culture and history of the world. So in his passion to prove that it was not true, he began collecting materials on the history and culture of people of African decent and then began to focus on the history and culture of African Americans.
DAVID HARTMAN: This mosaic we’re standing on- what is it?
BARRY LEWIS: This mosaic is a memorial to Langston Hughes and Arturo Schomburg. The idea for the mural was taken from the first poem that Langston Hughes published, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”.
DAVID HARTMAN: Who were the writers and poets of that period?
PROFESSOR KATE RUSHIN: We’ve already mentioned Langston Hughes as one of the primary movers. Alain Locke the author of an essay “The New Negro”, was certainly instrumental in inspiring people, especially young people to leave behind the old subservient attitude and to take a new pride and to move out into areas of education and art and the political world. Other important people in the period were- Countee Cullen who’s considered a primary poet of the period also Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston who actually at one point collaborated with Langston Hughes.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.