2020 55¢ Voices of Harlem – Arturo Schomburg
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: May 21, 2020
First Day City: New York, NY
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 16,000,000
Arturo Schomburg was born on January 24, 1874, in Santurce, Puerto Rico, to an African American mother and German father. When Schomburg was in school, a teacher told him African Americans had no history, heroes, or accomplishments. The desire to prove that teacher wrong became a driving force throughout the rest of Schomburg’s life.
Schomburg enrolled in the Instituto Popular in San Juan, where he learned commercial printing. He then attended St. Thomas College in the Danish Virgin Islands and studied Negro Literature before moving to New York City on April 17, 1891.
When Schomburg arrived in Manhattan, he decided to settle down in Harlem. There, he began writing articles about African American and Caribbean history. In 1911, Schomburg and John Edward Bruce founded The Negro Society for Historical Research, bringing together African, West Indian, and African American scholars for the first time.
Schomburg became an important scholar during his lifetime, bringing African American culture and history back from the brink of extinction. He immersed himself in the Harlem Renaissance and held several leadership positions. Schomburg’s research, collecting, and writing of history ensured no one will ever again forget the many accomplishments of African Americans.