Discovering The Past

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Discovering the Past In Arthur Schomburg's essay entitled The Negro Digs Up His Past, Schomburg wrote about the history of American Negroes. As a pubescent, he was told by one of his teachers that blacks had no history. This inspired him to search for evidence that proved otherwise. He dedicated most of his time to explore the Negro's past for the remainder of his life. By doing so, he hoped to educate people on an important part of history and also to spread information that would avoid erroneous thoughts that blacks had no history. Schomburg's essay provides numerous evidences as well as elaborations on his findings.

Throughout Schomburg's life, he collected a variety of information on early American Negroes and their lives. He wanted to make the public aware of his findings. To do so, he wrote this essay which includes many Negro's achievements and important people who contributed to the Negro's history.

Schomburg found evidence that there were many notable black scholars who made significant changes to the black's lives. For example, John Baptist Phillip is an African graduate of Edinburgh who worked to force Lord Bathhurst into enforcing the articles of capitulation. This guaranteed the freedom of the blacks in Trinidad. Another example is John Russwurm who was a leader for the American Colonization Society. There are many more examples of the black's excellence and contributions in Schomburg's essay.

Schomburg believed that "History must restore what slavery took away, for it is the social damage of slavery that the present generation must repair and offset." By "digging up" black history, he proved that blacks did have history. He had found "materials not only for the first true writing of Negro history, but for the rewriting of many important paragraphs of out common American history."