Tag Archives: African American

Trackwomen, 1943

During the Second World War, women took on all kinds of jobs traditionally held by men. One was the position of “trackman,” someone who maintained railroad tracks.  The job still exists. This photo from the Women’s Bureau at the National … Continue reading

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Myrtle Bell Moten and Friends, 1929

I didn’t want to let black history month slip by without a post.  These women aren’t old, but I liked their outfits so much I wanted to include them.  The snapshot comes from the collection of the Moten family, prosperous … Continue reading

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Thanksgiving in Milwaukee, 1960

This photo documents a Thanksgiving dinner for 400 put on by the Pioneer Telephone Company in Milwaukee in 1960.  Are the women (and a few men) all telephone workers, or do the guests include needy community members invited for a … Continue reading

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Remembering Alice Coachman, Olympian

Alice Coachman was the first African American woman to win a gold medal, a feat she accomplished in the high jump in London in 1948.  She died in 2012.  In the New York Times photograph above she is dressed in exercise … Continue reading

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Employee Christmas Party at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, 1945

At a local fancy flea market, the Long Beach Antique Market, I found this photo of an employee party at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The image is much too large for my scanner—18 inches by 9 inches—so I can only … Continue reading

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The Headwrap and African American Culture

This early 1960s photo comes from a collection by then New York Times photographer Bruce Davidson, who documented the Civil Rights struggles of that era.  While many of the exquisite photographs in the book show marches and confrontations, quite a … Continue reading

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The Sweet Flypaper of Life

A cultural milestone in the African American community, the picture book The Sweet Flypaper of Life was a collaboration between noted photographer Roy DeCarava and the writer Langston Hughes. In 1952, DeCarvara became the first African American to receive a … Continue reading

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Mother and Daughter with Television, 1950s

What a happy pair! Have they just been dancing? The record player drawer is open on the television/record player console. I wasn’t able to find exactly the same machine on line, but the American company Admiral made many such combinations … Continue reading

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Group Portrait at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, Harlem

Although this photo was taken in Harlem in the 1950s, for a London reader it evoked memories of her Jamaican born grandmother. “Their tailored suits reminded me of how my grandmother, a Jamaican woman who moved to London in the … Continue reading

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A Fashion Controversy—What to Send to Russia

In 1959, the United States staged a big exhibit in Moscow designed to publicize the American way of life. It was the setting for the famous “kitchen debate” between Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev, where they argued about the merits … Continue reading

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