Elegy to Arturo Alfonzo Schomburg (Curated by Noshka Gonzalez)
“They told him his folks had no history.
He spent years proving them wrong.
Proving contributions to culture and song.
He immigrated to the USA and joined the band.
Not as a musician, but as an archiving man.
During the years of the Harlem Renaissance
This Afro Puerto Rican man took a stand.
Schomburg joined the intellectuals there.
They had done so much and had much to say
About their participation in progress of this nation.
Inventors and educators, skilled in business and science
Records collected and preserved for all who would question.
Because of his passion and knowledge
He was successful working at Fisk College.
He used what he learned, misinformation he spurned
With the library he built those rumors he kil’t.
And now you can visit yourself.
Check the art on the wall and books on the shelf.”
Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of who I am. I treasure the culture and values inherited from my parents and take pride in passing them on to the next generation so that they never forget their heritage. Learning my culture is about knowing more about myself and growing into a better version of myself. We learn from our past, to not repeat it, as well as to learn what makes us better.
Although we celebrate Latino history during September and October, we must recognize it has been a part of American history for centuries and should be celebrated year-round. As a native from the island of Puerto Rico, I am proud of my roots that taught me the true meaning of community and serving others. Our stories have made us who we are: strong, hardworking, enthusiastic people with a sense of humor and community. No matter where we come from or what we’ve gone through, our Hispanic heritage stays with us and affects how we connect with people and see the world. Hispanic Heritage Month is a way to celebrate us, our cultural backgrounds, and our contributions.
Noshka Gonzalez (She/Her) – Cohort 22