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Portrait of Harriet Tubman. Photo by Benjamin F. Powelson, 1868 or 1869.

Stories of People and Places for Black History Month

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During the lifetime of the Picture This blog, we have published several dozen posts relating to some aspect of African American history. We have collected all of these posts under a single category for easy access here.

In honor of Black History Month, we will highlight a few of those posts so you can revisit images connected to Black creators and historical figures as well as read the stories behind them.

Celebrating Harriet Tubman and the Emily Howland Album

Read the story of a previously unrecorded portrait of Harriet Tubman in Celebrating Harriet Tubman and the Emily Howland Album“The portrait is in a photo album that belonged to Emily Howland, a lifelong advocate of freedmen’s schools and women’s rights. The Library of Congress and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture partnered to acquire the album at auction last year and to conserve, catalog, and make it available to the public.”

Full length photograph of Harriet Tubman, wearing a dress, seated in a chair.
Portrait of Harriet Tubman. Photo by Benjamin F. Powelson, 1868 or 1869. Tubman would have been in her mid-forties at the time.

Exploring Place in African American History

Explore the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the buildings documented because of their connections to people and events significant in African American history in Exploring Place in African American History. For example: “There are buildings designed by African American architects, such as the 1918 Villa Lewaro in Westchester County, NY. The architect, Vertner Woodson Tandy, was New York’s first licensed Black architect, and his client was none other than Madam C. J. Walker, a successful African American businesswoman in the cosmetics industry.” 

Photograph of large white house. Columns on porch, Palladian windows.
VIEW OF EAST ELEVATION – Villa Lewaro, North Broadway, Irvington, Westchester County, NY. Photo. Part of HABS NY,60-IRV,5-

African Americans at the Turn of the 20th Century: A Graphic Visualization

Visitors to the 1900 Paris Exposition would have had the opportunity to view an extraordinary display of photographs, charts, publications and other items meant to demonstrate the progress and resilience of African Americans in the United States, only a few decades after the abolition of slavery. The materials were assembled by African American intellectuals Thomas J. Calloway, W. E. B. Du Bois and Daniel A. P. Murray.”  See one of the charts created for the exhibit below and learn more in African Americans at the Turn of the 20th Century: A Graphic Visualization.

The Georgia Negro.City and rural population. 1890. Chart prepared by W. E. B. Du Bois.
The Georgia Negro. City and Rural Population. 1890. Chart prepared by W. E. B. Du Bois.

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  1. This is a wonderful compilation of posts that add information on the Black experience. It was so helpful for me to go through each post and select images that are a part of Black History and add them as resources in a Mind Map format that could be used for student learning. I shared the result in the TPS Teachers Network, and the Apple Education Community – and learned a lot!

    Educators have so many resources and directions to explore in African American History and February generally provides an explosion of ideas and stories from many different sources. It is important to know how we can easily access past posts, so I appreciate the path you have drawn for us here.

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