Celebrating Artists’ Portraits at the Library of Congress for African American History Month

The following guest post is by Katherine Blood, Curator of Fine Prints, Prints & Photographs Division In honor of African American History Month, this gathering of extraordinary individual and group portraits by contemporary artists features works that speak of community, family, and the envisioned past, present, and future. Nelson Stevens’s vibrant screenprint called Spirit Sister, […]

Reflecting on Roland Freeman’s African American Expressive Culture in Philadelphia Project

The following is a guest post by Victoria Bankole, an Archives, History, and Heritage Advanced Intern in the Prints & Photographs Division in spring 2020. “Every story I create, creates me. I write to create myself.” — Octavia E. Butler Just as author Octavia Butler created herself through writing, photographers such as Roland Freeman use their […]

Camilo J. Vergara’s Photographs of African American Communities in America’s Cities

My images throughout time give glimpses into poverty, segregation, and perseverance in cities throughout America during the past half century. They are part of an evolving historical record, contributing stories of resilience and pride … Camilo J. Vergara has been photographing low-income, racially segregated neighborhoods in American cities since the 1970s. Earlier this year, the […]

Susie King Taylor: The Courage of an African American Nurse and Teacher

Below is an interview with Elizabeth Lindqwister, the summer 2019 Liljenquist Family Fellow, and Prints & Photographs Division staff members, Karen Chittenden and Micah Messenheimer, about creating a Story Map focusing on the Civil War experience of Susie King Taylor. Many courageous people are pulling double and triple duty in this time of quarantine for […]

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. […]

Remembering the African American Soldiers of the 9th U.S. Volunteer Infantry

The following is a guest post by Jonathan Eaker, Reference Librarian, Prints & Photographs Division. Recently while going through some military photos in our collection I came across a set of twelve undigitized group portraits showing African American soldiers at the time of the Spanish American War. The photos launched me on research about a […]

Portraits of Nineteenth Century African American Women Activists Newly Available Online

The following is a guest post by Beverly Brannan, Curator of Photography, Prints & Photographs Division. African American women as well as men assumed civic responsibilities in the decades after the Civil War. William Henry Richards (1856-1941) was active in several organizations that promoted civil rights and civil liberties for African Americans at the end […]