Haunting Photos Of American Slaves 70 Years After Abolition – Design You Trust

Haunting Photos Of American Slaves 70 Years After Abolition

0

In the 1920s and 1930s, domestic interest in US slavery was rekindled, and as part of the Federal Writers’ Project of the Work Progress Administration, more than 2,000 first-person accounts of slavery were collected, as well as 500 black and white photographs. The collection was compiled in 17 states between 1936 and 1938. Many of the former slaves interviewed were well into their 80s and 90s – some were even past 100.

While there are many reasons as to why these testimonials were collected, one reason was simply the passing of time- by the 1930s, surviving former slaves were old men and women. The time in which to capture their testimonies was running out, thus putting a sense of urgency to the project. Many of the accounts are deeply troubling, and are powerful reminders of America’s seedy past.

h/t: madefrom

Jennie Bowen, Age 90, Alabama
1
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

Slavery in America began when the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, to aid in the production of such lucrative crops as tobacco. Slavery was practiced throughout the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and African-American slaves helped build the economic foundations of the new nation. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 solidified the central importance of slavery to the South’s economy.

George Eatman, Age 93, Alabama
2
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

By the mid-19th century, America’s westward expansion, along with a growing abolition movement in the North, would provoke a great debate over slavery that would tear the nation apart in the bloody American Civil War (1861-65). Though the Union victory freed the nation’s 4 million slaves, the legacy of slavery continued to influence American history, from the tumultuous years of Reconstruction (1865-77) to the civil rights movement that emerged in the 1960s, a century after emancipation.

James D. Johnson, Age 77, Texas
3
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

Lizzie Hill, Age 94, Alabama
4
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

Allen Thomas, Age 97, Texas
5
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

Anderson and Minerva Edwards, Age 93 and 87, Texas
6
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

Betty Powers, Age 80, Texas
7
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

Bill Homer, Age 87, Texas
8
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

Daniel Taylor, Alabama
9
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

Ellen Payne, Age 88, Texas
10
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

Gabe Hines, Alabama
11
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

George Dillard, Age 85, Alabama
12
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

Georgia Flournoy, Alabama
13
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

Mary Thompson, Age 87, Austin,Texas
14
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

Preely Coleman, Age 85, Texas
15
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

Simon Walker
16
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

William Henry Towns, Age 83, Alabama
17
Image courtesy of The Library of Congress

If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Beautiful Vintage Commercial Photos By Tom Kelley
Cat Fashion Show at the Algonquin Hotel
Haunting Photos Of A Deserted Mall That Is Now Covered In Snow
Photographer Mark Taylor Captures Hilarious Photos Of Pet Doppelgängers Sharing The Same Colors
These Stunning Drone Photos Would Be Completely Illegal Now
Whimsical Photos of Everyday Objects Playfully Reimagined Through the Eyes of a Child
Fantastic Old Photos Of Yugoslavia From The 1920s, When People Were Nicer
A Camera Made of 23,248 Coffee Stirrers, Powered by A Raspberry Pi, and Controlled with A Nintendo Controller
Striking Photos Documented Life of African-Americans in Chicago's South Side in 1941
Photographer Captures Intimate Portraits Of Kids Posing With Wild Animals
Amazing Black & White Photographs That Capture Everyday Life Of Paris From The 1930s And Early 1940s
2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest – April selects
Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2015: First Glimpse Of Finalists' Images
Japanese Photographer Captures Stunning Images Of "Time-Traveling Samurai"
Around The World In Black & White: Existential Travel Photography By Fred Tougas
American Artist Captured Stunning Monochromatic Photos Of Tokyo Cityscapes At Night
Photographer Kevin Fleming Finds Beauty in the Wild
Spectacular Cityscape, Aerial and Landscape Photographs by Mike Meyers
Breathtaking Outdoor & Lifestyle Photography from All Over the World by André Alexander
Photo of the Day: Spectacular Photos of World's Largest Fish Whale Sharks Seen Almost Swallowing Dive
“The East End In Colour”: Rare And Gorgeous Kodachrome Photographs Of London In The 1960s And 1970s
Photography Works by Sarah Sitkin
A Century of Gorgeous Portraits from The Photographers 2015
Here Comes The Bear: Fairytale-Like Photos Of Russian Family Playing With A Real Bear In The Forest