Picturing Black History

Photographs and stories that changed the world

A collaboration of     and    

A Tough Road Uphill

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

Workers of the World

Black Communists Fought for Jobs and Safety in 1930 Washington, D.C.

At War with Memory

How race has shaped our memory of the Civil War and Emancipation

Student Activism and the Rise of Black Studies

The struggle of university students to build Black Studies on campus, in their communities, and throughout the nation.

Wade in the Water

The Fight to Desegregate Savannah Beach

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Historic Photos, Fresh Stories

Photograph of Class SE 43 K newly commissioned pilots (Tuskegee Airmen) at Tuskegee Army Flying School, in bomber jackets with a fighter airplane, Tuskegee, Alabama, 1942.

Without images of African Americans, depictions of important military moments are incomplete.

Some Black soldiers chose not to go home after the war, remaining in North Korea and China—behind the “bamboo curtain”—to escape racism in the United States.

Bluesman Muddy Waters went from the Mississippi cotton fields to Chicago and changed the face of American music.

Between the 1930s and 1960s, the famous singer and actor made many visits to the world’s first socialist country, which made a lasting impression on his art and politics.

The Black Panther Party—especially their International Section based in Algiers—embraced the Palestinian cause as part and parcel of their own struggle.

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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.