The African American Collection contains private and historical documentation of the African American experience, and includes remarkable illustrations of achievement and shocking evidence of intolerance. Heartbreaking and harrowing, some images are too shocking to share online, while others, like the only known photograph of a ceremony for the freeing of slaves, too hallowed. The Collection portrays everything from freemen and slaves to Civil War soldiers, new voters, and political activists, to the burgeoning middle class and the ‘routine’ portrait: images depicting successful African American people as they wished themselves to be seen. Shadows and Substance…, a traveling exhibition of The Burns African American Collection is available from the Indiana State Museum. This exhibit is one of several created from The Collection since 1980. From African cultures, slavery, and emancipation, to the burgeoning middle-class, the photographs create a complete visual history of the African American experience.
Note: Some photos may contain graphic images.
All images are available for licensing as rights-managed stock photography and reference material.