Mr. Paul LeClerc
President Board of Trustees
The New York Public Library
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street
New York, NY 10018
Dear Mr. LeClerc:
I strongly object to your use of a search firm with all white executives to look for a replacement for Mr. Howard Dodson of the Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture. I urge you to offer this position to Dr. Molefi Asante. He is the most published African historian and cultural scientist in the United States. He is also the person most similar in qualifications to Arthur Schomburg the person for whom the Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture is named and who served as curator of the collection from 1932 to 1938.
Should Dr. Asante decline to take this position, I urge you to restart this search process with a newly constituted search committee consisting of persons from this list:
DR. AMA MAZAMA,CO EDITOR, ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BLACK STUDIES, ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AFRICAN RELIGION
DR. D. ZIZWE POE, LINCOLN UNIVERSITY
DR. JAMES CONYERS, UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON, BLACK STUDIES DEPARTMENT,
DR. PATRICIA REID MERRITT , STOCKTON STATE UNIVERSITY, NEW JERSEY
DR. RAY WINBUSH of MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
If you are unfamiliar with any of the names on this list, I feel it is further evidence of why you must delegate responsibility for this search to someone else. My recommendation would be that you delegate this to one of the Black Librarians Of The New York Public Library, such as Mr. Andrew Jackson the director of your Langston Hughes Branch in Queens.
I am sure that a person of racial privilege, such as you, Mr. LeClerc, might find a communication of this sort from a Black person unpleasant but it is offered with the best of intentions for the survival of the Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture. Advice is free, experience we pay for. I urge you not to repeat the history of warring with the Black community as was done in 1981 over the appointment of a Curator.
James C. McIntosh, M.D.
Co Chair Committee To Eliminate Media Offensive To African People