Howard Dodson Jr. Has Returned To Work, Trying To Make Howard Research Center Great Again

Source: Krissah Thompson / The Washington Post

As head of the world-renowned Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, Howard Dodson Jr. acquired the diaries of Malcolm X, the papers of Nat King Cole and Lorraine Hansberry, the collections of anthropologists Melville J. Herskovits and St. Clair Drake, and the prints of Harlem life by photographer Austin Hansen.

But after 25 years as Schomburg’s leader, Dodson was ready to retire, done with the 9 to 5, eager to explore Peru’s Machu Picchu, Ethiopia’s rock-hewn churches, Xi’an’s terra-cotta warriors and other sacred sites from around the world.

And then the call of his ancestors came again.

Which is why the 74-year-old finds himself sitting in the Founders Library on the campus of Howard University, one of the nation’s top historically black universities, where last year he accepted the position of director of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and the Howard University Libraries.

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