As the world prepared for the Exposition Universalle de 1900 in Paris, W. E. B. Du Bois was approached to help represent African American life. He came with a cache of stunning photographs to illustrate the progress of Negroes in America -- thereby offering a photographic counterpoint to the prolific stereotyping of blacks that left viewers awestruck.
With insights from Pulitzer Prize winner David Levering Lewis and Mac-Arthur Fellow photo historian Deborah Willis, A Small Nation of People presents more than one hundred and fifty of these important photographs together for the first time since their initial unveiling. Here is an incredible treasure trove of illustrations of African Americans in front of their new businesses, universities, and homes -- sometimes modest, sometimes elegant. Here, too, are beautiful Victorian-era portraits of blacks whose varied hues show how diverse black Americans truly were. Viewed together, the collection reveals in glorious detail what Du Bois saw -- a small nation of people prepared to make their mark on America. [via]