Picturing Black History

Photographs and stories that changed the world

A collaboration of     and    

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Poise and Perseverance

How Autherine Lucy, Charlayne Hunter, and Viviane Malone Desegregated Higher Education in the American South

Marching Mothers
Marching Mothers

Neither wind nor rain could stop a band of Ohio mothers from securing the education their children deserved.

The Gilligan Case: Police Brutality and Civil Rights in Harlem 1964
The Gilligan Case: Police Brutality
and Civil Rights in Harlem 1964

A July 1964 protest at the United Nations headquarters in New York City began after the murder of 15-year-old African American James Powell by Thomas Gilligan, a white, off-duty police officer.

Panthers and the Premiere: Black Internationalism & Cold War China
Panthers and the Premiere:
Black Internationalism & Cold War China

From Robert F. Williams and Huey Newton to President Richard Nixon, three moments where Black Liberation movements converged, and diverged, with Revolutionary China.

African Americans, Anti-Racism, and Cuba
African Americans, Anti-Racism, and Cuba

Fidel Castro, Joe Louis, Angela Davis, and Jesse Jackson navigate the complicated relationship between Black America and Communist Cuba.

Major Players
Major Players:
Nat King Cole Meets Baseball Legend Orestes Minoso

How a shared love of baseball fostered a meaningful friendship and a spirit of resistance.

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Historic Photos, Fresh Stories

Harper's The First Vote Illustration

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

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

Four photographs capture how music embodies a long tradition of global Black engagement and the goal of justice for all Black people.
Aunt Jemima and Hattie McDaniel’s Mammy: Selling Blackness to 20th Century Consumers

Alice Walker’s act of generosity in writing The Color Purple forever revolutionized Black women’s literature.  

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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.