Victorian-era portraits of African-Americans, 1899 or 1900; from a collection assembled by W.E.B. Du Bois for the Exposition Nègres d’Amerique of the1900 Exposition Universelle.
Library of Congress
Fuck everyone who says black people look wrong in period clothing or would not have had access to this sort of clothing. Just seriously fuck you.
William Edward Burghardt “W. E. B.” Du Bois is a fascinating and inspiring figure, an uncompromising civil rights activist (literally uncompromising - he rejected Booker T Washington’s Atlanta Compromise, an unwritten deal struck with Southern leaders in the aftermath of the Reconstruction era, in which African-Americans would submit to.discrimination, segregation, lack of voting rights and non-unionized employment and in return Southern whites would “permit” blacks to receive a basic education, some economic opportunities, and justice within the legal system; Du Bois called for nothing less than full equal rights.)
Du Bois and Booker T Washington, who together organised the Exposition Nègres d’Amerique, worked with Washington’s friend Frances Benjamin Johnston (a pioneering female photographer and photojournalist) to take photos of students at the Hampton Institute. The photographs were specifically compiled to counter stereotypes and the predominant white narrative about African-Americans, showcasing their success and diversity. The exhibition won several awards.