An era is coming to an end at Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad will leave his post as director in July 2016, the Amsterdam News reports.
Muhammad is stepping down after five years at one of the leading institutions focusing exclusively on the African-American experience and the African Diaspora. He has accepted a tenured teaching position at Harvard University.
The newspaper asked if this would be another setback for Harlem. It pointed to the financial challenges of the Abyssinian Baptist Development Corp. and the denial of city funding to three theater groups.
Muhammad, a great-grandson of the Nation of Islam’s former leader Elijah Muhammad, said that a very capable team of senior managers is in place at the Schomburg as a committee searches for his replacement. “It has a bigger budget, far more employees than when I arrived, and a $20 million renovation project, so the Schomburg’s situation is a counterexample to the others,” he said.
Although he’s departing, Muhammad, 43, said that his new position at Harvard will enable him to make greater contributions to the community.
“My aim while at the Schomburg was always to place it in a global context, and I will continue to advocate for it, to make sure people understand its role in our sense of democracy in the public sphere,” he told the Amsterdam News.
Read more at the Amsterdam News.