In Motion: The African-American Migration
Experience at the
A glittering array
of celebrities appeared at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black
Culture, in Harlem, to celebrate the brilliant new online resource “In
Motion: The African-American Migration Experience.” The
exhibit tells the in-depth story of over five hundred years
of African-Americans on the move. It tells about the thirteen
separate African-American migrations, from the 1500s until
today. Only two of them (The Transatlantic Slave Trade and
The Domestic Slave Trade) were involuntary. Others included
Haitian Immigration--18th and 19th Centuries, Western Migration,
The Great Migration, Caribbean Immigration, and African Immigration.
What did Harry Belafonte,
the famous actor, singer, producer and human rights advocate,
have to say about “In Motion?”
“It gives us
a chance to speak with some authenticity and authority about
what our journey has been. Young students, young minds that
are eager to know more about who and what we are as a nation
and certainly as Africans will be rewarded amply by what
they will experience on this website.”
What did Paul LeClerc, President of The New York Public Library,
have to say about the website?
“[It is] the
single most extraordinary online version of a library that
I think is possible, the best that is available in the world
What did Congressman Charles Rangel have to say?
“I have shared [this] with members of the Congressional
Black Caucus and I can’t begin to tell you how excited
they are about this great project. The African-American is
just one of the few people in this great country that if they
were to give us a million dollars to go to our homeland we
have no clue as to where to go. We don’t know what we
would do without the Schomburg in shedding some light on who
we are as a people. Where
did we come from? Where
did we anchor our culture and beliefs, including religious
beliefs? What were our hopes and aspirations? It makes us all better persons to know
who we are.”
What special message for teachers did Howard Dodson, Director
of The Schomburg Center, have about the website?
“The African-American experience is a central part of
America’s experience. Let’s
hope that this resource will assist teachers in incorporating
some of the missing pages of American history into their classroom
What special message for teachers came from Dean W. Schomburg,
a distinguished radio commentator and grandson of the Puerto
Rican born Black Scholar, bibliophile and NYPL benefactor,
Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, for whom the Center was named?
“Teaching is so important and so under appreciated.
I would like to urge teachers to visit our new website, “In
Motion”. It’s set up for them with lesson plans
right on there. How
much easier could it be? With kids you never know what will
possess them. If you expose them to this website some of them
may be inspired by it. Just let them know it’s here.
Even if only one person in your class gets taken by it I’d
be happy with that. That would be a wonderful thing!”
And what did 6th Grader
Sam Howard, who attended the preview with his mother, Mamie
Bittner, a Director at the Institute of Museum and Library
Services, have to say about the website after he’d
seen the preview?
“That was really
The United States Congress appropriated $2.4 million for the
creation of this major digital archive.#
The website (www.inmotionaame.org or through www.schomburgcenter.org)
contains 16,500 pages of essays, books, articles and manuscripts,
8,300 images, 60 maps and more than 100 detailed lesson plans.
A companion book published by National Geographic and co-authored
by Howard Dodson and Sylviane A. Diouf, and a Black History
Month Kit are available for purchase at The Schomburg Shop
at 212/491-2206. An Exhibition will be at the Schomburg Center February 3 to
April 30, 2005.