Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery
The Emancipation Proclamation is one of the most important documents in American history. As we approach its 150th anniversary, what do we really know about those who experienced slavery? In their pioneering book, Envisioning Emancipation, renowned photographic historian Deborah Willis and historian of slavery Barbara Krauthamer have amassed 150 photographs--some never before published--from the antebellum days of the 1850s through the New Deal era of the 1930s. The authors vividly display the seismic impact of emancipation on African Americans born before and after the Proclamation, providing a perspective on freedom and slavery and a way to understand the photos as documents of engagement, action, struggle, and aspiration. Filled with powerful images of lives too often ignored or erased from historical records, Envisioning Emancipation will be a keepsake for many years to come. Deborah Willis, a leading historian and curator of African American photography and culture, is Chair and Professor of Photography and Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Her most recent books are Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present and Black Venus 2010: They Called Her "Hottentot" (Temple). Barbara Krauthamer is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is the author of Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South as well as many articles and essays on the history of slavery and emancipation.
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