Tag Archives: schomburg center for research in black culture

[Black History Month] Video Music Box 30th Anniversary @ Schomburg Center in Harlem


Ralph McDaniels@VMB 30th Anniversary

Black History Month
Music Box 30th Anniversary @ Schomburg Center in Harlem


February 5, 2013, Video Music Box (VMB) founder and Hip Hop Icon Ralph McDaniels held his kickoff event at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of Video Music Box.

Before BET, MTV, and countless others there was Video Music Box (VMB). Created in 1983 by Ralph McDaniels, VMB is a 60-minute American television program/series that was the first to cater to the growing audiences of hip-hop fans.

Ralph McDaniels

Ralph McDaniels

At the time BET wasn’t even showing real hip-hop like that till later, all they had was “Video Soul” and MTV didn’t play hip-hop at all at the time. But it didn’t matter nobody in the ‘hood had cable in 80’s anyway.

After school every kid would run home to turn to channel 31 everyday at 3:30 to watch the latest videos on VMB. Back in the days VMB was the only vehicle available to promote Hip-Hop music and culture.

It originally aired on New York City-owned public television station WNYC-TV and became one of the most influential shows to give Hip-Hop/Urban artists mainstream exposure. Over the course of time people start affectionately calling the Hip-Hop pioneer host “Uncle Ralph.”

He has also produced over 400 music videos, is an on-air personality for HOT97 Radio, and has been involved with several feature films.

At the event the upcoming VMB documentary was screened to a packed house and received loud cheers and rave reviews from the audience. The film featured artists such as: Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Lil’ Wayne, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Celia Cruz, Fresh Prince & Jazzy Jeff, Mary J. Blige and many others.

Congratulations Uncle Ralph.

Gordon Parks Photo Exhibition until December 1, 2012

Kathleen Neal Cleaver & Eldridge Cleaver – Black Panther


Gordon Parks Photo Exhibition at Schomburg Center in Harlem until December 1, 2012

Gordon Parks was born 100 years ago this year (he died in 2006). In honor of this milestone, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is exhibiting 100 photographs.

Gordon Parks: 100 Moments celebrates a photographer who transformed the visual story of America with his ever-questioning lens, highlighting—in particular—the significance of Parks’s photographs from the early 1940s. 100 Moments focuses on Parks’s photographic practice of documenting African Americans in Harlem and Washington, D.C., during a pivotal time in U.S. history. These photographs were taken when both cities were going through significant changes—arising from post-WW II urban migration, the expansion of the black press, concern for children’s education, and entrenched segregation and economic discrimination.

Colored Water Fountain, Mobile, Alabama

Gordon Parks’ photos from the 1940s captured all aspects of what it was like to be an African-American at the time, including the struggle for dignity against the sting of racism while acknowledging regular aspects of life such as kids playing. The photos serve as a stunning documentation and are emblematic of the everyday joys and sorrows of people in the 1940s. He captured what it was like to be an everyday citizen.

Exhibition hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm.
@ Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard (Lenox Avenue) at 135th Street MAP
New York, NY 10037-1801
Phone: (212) 491-2200