Picturing Black History

Photographs and stories that changed the world

A collaboration of     and    

The Revolution of Being

Black women and girls being fully present in our bodies, our lives, our laughter, our heartache, our joy, our friendships, our family, ourselves is revolutionary, and it’s on record here.

Gladys Bentley: Pioneering Queer Performer

Gladys Bentley consistently and unapologetically broke the unspoken rules of gender norms

The Children of the Mississippi Freedom Summer

Aunt Jemima and Hattie McDaniel’s Mammy: Selling Blackness to 20th Century Consumers

A Tough Road Uphill

“Buffalo Soldiers”—The 92nd Infantry Division—in Italy, 1944-45

Wade in the Water

The Fight to Desegregate Savannah Beach

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Historic Photos, Fresh Stories

Freedom Riders Near Burning Bus

CORE’s Freedom Rides solidified its centrality to desegregation efforts during the Civil Rights Movement

Despite systemic racism, Black soldiers forced their way into parachute training and took one major step toward integration.

Portraits of Frederick Douglass, the most photographed American of the nineteenth century, illuminate his life and career as an abolitionist.

Initially written off as “crazy,” the New Orleans Sniper’s ideas reflected a more widely held sentiment of rage among Black youth.

The Civil Rights Movement owes much to the students who boldly sat down at segregated lunch counters

The Parkridge Country Club demonstrated the fragile promise of African American recreational space in 1920s Los Angeles  

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About Picturing Black History

Our Mission

The editorial team at Picturing Black History recognizes the importance of Black history as a subject of academic knowledge and a source of African diaspora identities. We embrace the power of images to capture stories of oppression and resistance, perseverance and resilience, freedom dreams, imagination, and joy within the United States and around the globe.

Picturing Black History emerged in the wake of national and international Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers in 2020. We recognize that Black Lives Matter is a contemporary outgrowth of a long history of Black racial protest in the United States. Picturing Black History is our collaborative effort to contribute to an ongoing public dialogue on the significance of Black history and Black life in the United States and throughout the globe.