Posts Tagged ‘photographs’

This image of the 1905 Emancipation Day parade in Richmond, Virginia is representative of celebrations popular across America into the 20th century.

Celebrations weren’t always held on January 1. Enslaved people in Washington, DC were granted their freedom on April 16, 1862 by the DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 which “freed 3,100 individuals, reimbursed those who had legally owned them and offered the newly freed women and men money to emigrate.” A holiday on September 22 commemorated President Lincoln’s 1862 preliminary Emancipation Proclamation which stated that enslaved people in the rebellious states would be freed by January 1, 1863 if those states did not end the fighting and rejoin the Union. Newspapers published for Black readership reported on the events without bias while newpapers intended for White audiences often included derogatory terms and negative stereotypes. Excerpts below are from Virginia newspapers. See the Library of Virginia’s Virginia Chronicle for these items (1903-1919) and more.

“All preparations have been made for the emancipation day parade in this city next Tuesday. It has been determined to invite no other organizations from other cities to participate, but to confine the parade strictly to Alexandria colored people, and only the well-disposed and orderly elements.”
“Emancipation Day Parade,” Alexandria Gazette, September 19, 1903, page 3

“The Afro-American Emancipation Day Association held a largely attended meeting Friday night, and it was estimated between 18,000 and 25,000 colored people from all parts of the country would attend the celebration.”
“Emancipation Day to be lively one,” News Leader, February 26, 1906, page 10
[Note: This was one of several newspapers in Richmond, Virginia. The celebration was planned for April 3d, 1906 — Leslie]

“The colored people had their usual Emancipation Day parade and celebration. All banks and public buildings were closed for the day.”
“New Year’s Day in Suffolk,” Norfolk Landmark, January 2, 1907, page 8

“The usual Emancipation Day parade did not materialize this year, but the students held their exercises in the afternoon. The program included patriotic songs, band music, the reading of the Proclamation, and addresses by Negro and Indian representatives.”
“At Home and Afield,” Southern Workman, February 1, 1911, page 56
[Note: This was a monthly journal published at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia) by Hampton Institute Press — Leslie]

This advertisement invited the public to attend a lecture by Colston Stewart on the “Price of Freedom.” The event was to be held at Washington Street Baptist Church on April 9 at 1pm where “There would be a parade and music.”
[display ad] Bedford Bulletin, April 3, 1919, page 5

“The colored people of the town and county celebrated Emancipation Day, April 9, wih a large parade. There were a number of soldiers in the line, also a Junior Red Cross unit.”
“Personal Mention, Local Happenings,” Waverly Dispatch, April 18, 1919, page 1
[Note: This newspaper was published in Sussex County, Virginia — Leslie]

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“The President’s authority to commission the officers of colored volunteer notwithstanding, state executives exerted considerable influence in the selection of officers of Negro regiments. Clamoring for the protection of states’ rights, the governors argued that native white men of their respective states should be appointed officers of the Negro troops they mobilized.”
John T. Blassingame. “The Selection of Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of Negro Troops in the Union Troops, 1863-1865,” Negro History Bulletin,Vol. 30, No. 1 (January 1967), pp. 8-11.

This photograph of an unidentified cavalry officer is held in the collection of the Missouri Historical Society. The catalog record describes it as a “half-length portrait of a man in uniform with a sword. Subject’s hat has crossed sabers, indicating cavalry.”

See related posts:

1st U.S. Colored Cavalry in the 19th Century News” (December 23, 2019)
Black Troops, White Officers” (July 20, 2020)
Free Military School for Applicants for Commands of Colored Troops” (December 16, 2019)

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Photograph by Harry C. Mann circa 1910

“Black veterans of the Civil War gather for a reunion in Norfolk circa 1910. The forty-one men in the photograph were likely recruited in the area during the Civil War, served in black Union regiments, and then became members of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.). Most of the men recruited in the area had been formerly enslaved.”
Click here to see the complete entry at the Encyclopedia Virginia.

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This image is from Historic American Buildings Survey HABS VA-595-J and is available on the Library of Congress website.

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Institutions that came to be known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) offered manual training alongside academic instruction. Prior to the establishment of HBCUs, craftsmen learned skills as apprentices to master tradesmen. This photograph of a bricklaying class at Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now Hampton University) is at the Library of Congress.

These modern definitions are taken from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles published by the U.S. Department of Labor:

Bricklayers (construction) “Lays building materials, such as brick, structural tile, and concrete cinder, glass, gypsum, and terra cotta block (except stone) to construct or repair walls, partitions, arches, sewers, and other structures: Measures distance from reference points and marks guidelines on working surface to lay out work. Spreads soft bed (layer) of mortar that serves as base and binder for block, using trowel. Applies mortar to end of block and positions block in mortar bed. Taps block with trowel to level, align, and embed in mortar, allowing specified thickness of joint. Removes excess mortar from face of block, using trowel. Finishes mortar between brick with pointing tool or trowel. Breaks bricks to fit spaces too small for whole brick, using edge of trowel or brick hammer. Determines vertical and horizontal alignment of courses, using plumb bob, gaugeline (tightly stretched cord), and level. Fastens brick or terra cotta veneer to face of structures, with tie wires embedded in mortar between bricks, or in anchor holes in veneer brick. May weld metal parts to steel structural members. May apply plaster to walls and ceiling, using trowel, to complete repair work.”

Brick Masons “Lay building materials, such as brick, structural tile, concrete, cinder, glass, gypsum, and terra cotta block (except stone), to construct or repair walls, partitions, arches, sewers, and other structures. Include refractory brick masons.”
[Note: Click on the link to see a lengthy description of tasks and skills associated with this occupation — Leslie]

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