Picturing Black History

Photographs and stories that changed the world

A collaboration of     and    

A Mother's Power

The Bravery of Mamie Till-Mobley

Workers of the World

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

America's Two Favorite Mammies

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

Don't Call it a Riot

Los Angeles 1992, policing, and the long history of urban protests in the United States

A Lyrical Revolution

Four photographs capture how music embodies a long tradition of global Black engagement and the goal of justice for all Black people

Surviving Strategic Discontent

The tumultuous days of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

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Historic Photos, Fresh Stories

Benjamin Mays American Baptist Minister and Civil Rights Leader at podium

An Easter Sermon with Dr. Benjamin E. Mays at South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC

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

Much of what is widely embraced about the famous activist and orator is mythology, while the truth lives in the shadows.

West Indian, especially Barbadian, migrant labor on the Panama Canal changed shipping routes, benefitted the U.S. economy, and affected immigration for decades afterward.  

Galvanized by new electoral laws after the Civil War, thousands of Black men ran for public office both locally and nationally. Josiah T. Walls was one of them.

The tumultuous days of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

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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.