Get to know him: Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library

by Carole Boston Weatherford

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library tells the important story of Arturo Schomburg. As a child growing up, Schomburg realized that nowhere was the history of Black people being told in history, art or other school classes. His interest piqued, Schomburg spent his life learning and collecting.

The number of talented Blacks and the history mentioned in this book are extensive. To name a few, Schomburg learned about or knew Phillis Wheatly, the Amistad. Booker T. Washington, Toussaint Louverture, Frederick Douglass and Countee Cullen. Children will learn that Schomburg collected so many books that his wife finally issued an ultimatum…the books or her. It was from his decision in response, that the New York Public Library became the guardian of this remarkable man’s collection.

In this title, young readers also learn Schomburg’s own story. Born in Puerto Rico, he came to New York. He had a job, unusual in his time, that involved his supervising white workers. There were three marriages, all to women named Elizabeth and many more interesting biographical details in this book.

This title deserves a place in both home and elementary school libraries. It tells the story of an important man and his major contribution to Black history.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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