Yesha Callahan

Antique Photographs Show The History Of Race In Black & White

An albumen print from 1863 of Wilson Chinn, taken by Myron H Kimball of New York.


From the faces of emancipated slaves, to the horrible images of torture that were used on slaves, a new website is devoted to showing aspects of race through centuries old photography.

The photos featured on Mirror of Race are not only a chilling recollection of history, but they also serve as a reminder of the world of yesteryear. Some may cringe in discomfort when you happen upon the photo above, but others will take pride in seeing the photos of middle class African-American girls in Victorian era dresses.

What you’ll also take away from the photo series is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  The photo below is of a white man in black face, and think about how many instances of black face you’ve already read about over the last year?

A tintype by Hathaway of an anonymous man in 'blackface', circa 1865.


And what about the KKK? We all know they were a huge movement back in the 19th century, as shown in the photo below:


Well, like I said above, the more things change:

Circa 2014

Circa 2014

For more information on the series, visit:

  1. April 1, 2014 - Reply

    The images are very haunting. Things really haven’t changed much from yesteryear at all and we would be fools to think so.

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