tv The Civil War CSPAN August 21, 2016 11:50am-12:39pm EDT
er talks about slavery both before and after emancipation. she talks about how free african-americans used photography. relationshiput the of the perception of african-americans in the postwar united states. this talk is about 50 minutes. >> all right, good evening. i am peter carmichael, professor of history at gettysburg college. it is my pleasure to introduce rauthamer. theis a professor at university of massachusetts-amherst. her first book i have right in front of me -- her first book entitled "black slaves, indian
masters, slavery, emancipation, and citizenship in the native ." quite a title. published by the university of north carolina press. this book details the untold story of enslavement by choctaw and chickasaw indians in the 18th and 19th century. arbara has also co-authored book on slavery, emancipation and freedom published by temple university press, and it is also for sale in our bookstore. tonight, she will be speaking about her recent work and the talk is entitled "envisioning : black americans and the end of slavery." please welcome barbara. [laughter]
professor krauthamer: hello, good evening. thank you for staying this late into the night. thank you, peter, for the invitation and the introduction, who has managed to make everything happen seamlessly from massachusetts to gettysburg. book i co-authored with deborah willis. if you do not know her, she is the leading scholar of african-american photography and slavery, a dear, dear friend of mine. over the years we have had many conversations about photographs of enslaved people we came across in the course of doing other research projects, and i
would say to her, you are the photography scholar. explain to me why i have never read anything about the history of the photography of slavery and a miss a patient. and she would say to me, i don't know. you are the historian of slavery and emancipation. you tell me. or to relate we would go out to dinner,o to show each other photographs, and one day, we said there might be a book project here. the book turned out to be "envisioning emancipation." our question in this project and one we are just starting to get to work on in the upcoming months was what did freedom look like? right? we know a lot about the legal history and the political history, the debates over slavery, the civil war, and reconstruction, but we wanted to really take this question to a visual perspective and ask how was freedom emancipation
represented and how did african-americans represent themselves? really, the heart of our project was the history of african-americans through their own eyes, right? how they saw themselves. at a more scholarly level, we were curious about using photographs and seeing them, reading the visual text as artifacts versus a relic of the past, but also historical sources on emancipation and his legacies, and obviously the most important and lasting legacy for our purposes this weekend is the history of reconstruction. we were curious to see what we could do with this photographs history, how that it was narrated and preserved by african-americans and also how african-americans were represented in a visual telling all that history of emancipation and its history. so, what i am going to do -- what i will do
tonight is take you through some of the images that we discuss and write about in the book, and there are some i will just show you quickly. we looked through thousands and from our of images archives in the united states and abroad and early on, our editors said you can include 75 images. and we thought, that is never ever going to work. we came to the editor with 250. 275.hey said,, we will do we went back to the editor and said 75 is not going to work. they said, ok, 100. we went back-and-forth. finally we got to the point where we did not tell them how many we submitted and we were hoping they did not count, and clearly no one counted to carefully the cosby book is out.
some of the images i will show you tonight are in the book and some are not. thinking about what freedom would look like, we thought it was important to say ,- much of the scholarship especially in the u.s. context, argues that when photography arrived from france in the 1840's, 1850's, it added up profoundit had a democratizing influence on culture. many americans, great and modest, could afford to have their pictures made. as we thought about it, we thought this line of argument and interpretation did not fit at all with what we were seeing of enslavedhs people. we began the book thinking about slavery and photography and really arguing quite strenuously that the history of photography for african-americans was not one about the democratic expansion of american culture in
the antebellum period. we begin with some of the more famous images you have probably --n, the guerrier types daugerrotypes that you might've seen, made by a poly genesis, who wanted to say that there were separate species. daguerreotypes made. they are labeled. of picturesnumber like that to show both african enslaved people and their american-born progeny.
again, the attempt of using photography to prevent visual image of human difference and human hierarchy. so, there are others that have women with their breasts exposed . many scholars have argued, right, this is part of the scientific project and was not intended as a pornographic endeavor, and i would suggest lyat the two were very close intertwined, forcing black women to strip and reveal their breasts for the camera was part "scientific" endeavor, but that was in the context of the view of black women's hypersexuality, -- lack of morality, lack of respectability. this is an image that is a wanted notice for a runaway slave, a woman named dolly. one of the first things that
caught our attention, of course is there is a photograph attached to the top of this handwritten notice, which automatically raise the number of questions -- why does this woman from master have her picture? what prompted him to have a photograph of this enslaved woman made? we still don't know the answer, that we have some theories. in the text of the notice, he announces dolly has run away from the yard behind his house in a gusto. it is important to note the date of dolly's is gay. she escaped april 7, 1863. -- it is important to note the date of dolly's is skate. emancipation proclamation. characterizes her body and the presentation of the photograph really promotes the ability to own and control and look at.
he says that she is shy, that she has very nice teeth. he says she must have been in ties to a way by a white man, changedshe has never owners and is a stranger to the city. and of course, he tells he says that she must have been enticed away by a white man because she has never changed owners and is a stranger to the city. so of course he tells this narrative, right, where never changed owners as if that would have been her choice, right? we know of course it would not have been her choice. but so her master, this very prominent south carolinian louis manigault creates this narrative of domestic harmony and bliss. when you delve into the papers, the overseer reports upon investigation of dolly's disappearance -- and i should note of the hundreds of slaves that louis manigault owned many of them, dozens of them escaped over the years, both men and
women and of all of those who escaped dolly was the only one who was never captured. she was the only one who was never returned to his possession. when manigault's overseeing interrogated the other people in the house they told a story of a free black man who worked at a hotel across the street who had been coming around the yard late at night to court dolly and said that the two of them had run off together. so dolly for us was really the first image of what freedom looks like but also what those legacies of emancipation look like, right, of autonomy and self-control and self determination, but interestingly also of a certain kind of post reconstruction nostalgia on the part of former slave holders. the reason the document and the photograph survive is that louis manigault built a tremendous scrapbook, right, to the -- what in his mind were the glory days of slavery in which he pasted the bills of sale, the advertisements for auctions where he purchased people, the
receipts for the money he paid to buy people and he included this, right, and he writes this sort of heartfelt lament that he never saw her again. which raised some questions about, again, why he had her photograph made in the first place. one of the things we found out that we had not known before doing this research was some slave holders had photographs made of the enslaved people they owned to present a positive defense of slavery. to present slavery as a benign institution. to present themselves as benevolent masters who clothed and fed other human beings, if that's the mark of humanity. and then often there were images such as this one by thomas easterly where white families would pose with an enslaved woman usually. we've seen some poses with enslaved boys, not so many with men. as a way of showing off your wealth and status and prestige and presenting the enslaved person as a favorite pet or valuable object. we suspect that if the photograph of dolly was not one
of perhaps a love interest for manigault, that he wanted a photograph of a woman he desired, we suspect it was a photograph more like this one, where dolly was holding a manigault baby on her lap. there would have been an older infant in the household at this time. so it's entirely possible and that would explain, then -- excuse me while i go back. oops. come on. -- why the photograph is cropped and why you can't see the bottom two-thirds of that image if she is holding the child. we spent a fair amount of time then after sort of establishing this foundation for ways in
which african-americans were represented, the way in which that history of slavery was told by other people. to looking at how both african-americans and white americans involved in the anti-slavery movement represented their appeal, made their anti-slavery cause. so we have images like this, a lapel pin that has a white hand and black hand clasping. of course, we had to spend a fair amount of time with frederick douglass who wrote extensively about photography and about the power of self-representation. wrote about the power for african-americans to be able to present themselves as they saw themselves, right, as they experienced themselves and each other. and so for douglass then it was important for him to control his own image. he was dismayed as some of you probably know he was dismayed at the artists rendering of him
that were included in those early editions because he felt that the artist had represented him as a beast and not as a dignified intellectual man. so for douglass posing for these portraits in classical style was a way of not only representing himself but making a larger political argument about african-american humanity. for african-americans being able to create their own images and for free african-americans being able to purchase and acquire the images of prominent african-americans in the antebellum era was terrifically important both politically and personally. sojourner truth embraced the power of the photograph to not only represent herself, to present herself as a refined and dig need older woman, not as a battered former slave, right, so she curls her hand, you can't
see her hand that's been injured, but she also, of course, sold her photograph to support herself and as we were doing the research for the book one of the things that we came across were letters to sojourner truth written by free black women from places like brooklyn asking to purchase a copy of her photograph and saying how tremendously important it was and how meaningful it was to be course, sold her photograph to able to support the anti-slavery cause on the wages of a domestic servant by purchasing this photograph. and in one letter a woman writes to truth and says i wish i had enough money to buy a copy of your picture for every woman in my family, but i don't so i'm going to buy one and i'm going to share it with every woman in my family so that you know and what we know that we're bound together in this fight. we thought it was very important to include photographs by african-americans so we included a series of photographs by the photographer augustus washington, an african-american man from new jersey. this is john brown. we wanted to spend some time back to this freedom question of thinking about what freedom looked like for free african-americans.
you heard in the previous talk how northern states eventually stripped free african-americans of the state right to vote in their states. so freedom eroded in many instances for free african-americans and for some, like urias mcgill freedom looked like exile. mcgill left the united states under duress, under protest, i don't think he wanted to leave necessarily, but he was part of a group, right, that moved to liberia believing he could never achieve full freedom and full humanity in the country of his birth. after the passage of the fugitive slave law, after 1850 freedom looked like exile, like another wave of dislocation. so this is another photograph by augustous washington of sarah mcgill russworm, her husband was john russworm the african-american man who started the first african-american newspaper in the united states. the mast head said if we do not speak for ourselves who will speak for us. right. so, again, that sense of autonomy and self-determination. one of our favorite pictures of thinking what freedom looked
like is that we know that for many people, for many african-americans freedom looked like that self-liberation moment. so this is an image from a conference protesting the fugitive slave law from the late summer of 1850. it might be hotter in here than it was there in august. this is a photograph of an event organized by douglass and jarrett smith who is the tall man in the center standing behind douglass, they anticipated 50 people would show up, over 200 people showed up so they moved outside to the orchards. so the photograph is also historically important because it's one of the earliest examples of outdoor photography, where you can see the crowd in the foreground and then the panel of speakers in the background. the photograph is also important
to us because it showcases two women who had attempted to escape from slavery, mary and emily edmondson had attempted to escape in 1848 from washington, d.c. they were captured, their father paul edmondson made his way from washington to brooklyn to meet with the reverend henry ward beecher to plead with him and say if these were your daughters and the slave trading firm price and birch was bragging with taking mary and emily edmondson to north carolina to sell them as concubines, as fancy girls and paul edmondson makes his way to brooklyn and said how would you feel if they were your daughters that someone was bragging about selling as sex slaves. the edmondson sisters are redeemed, they're purchased and given their freedom, which is really a concept that i think we all should stop and think about what that meant, right, to be given your freedom as opposed to simply being able to possess
yourself and possess your freedom. and the accounts of this convention in upstate new york describe how beautifully and powerfully the edmondson sisters spoke to the crowd and how it was their speeches and their songs that really moved the crowd to tears in their instances. we thought it was important to include them to really highlight the role of every day people and particularly every day black women in that fight against slavery. the bulk of our study looked at the civil war and that moment of emancipation and then the legacies of emancipation. so i will go quickly through some of these images which i'm sure are familiar to you. we wanted to include this one because it shows an african-american man driving the wagon of a civil war photographer. one of the things that we know is that photography boomed as an industry during the civil war and then after the civil war the number of african-american
photographers proliferated as well and one of the things that we suspect happened is that many african-americans learned the trade, learned the skill and the art of photography by training on the ground quite literally with civil war photographers during the war. so we have a number of portraits that are familiar to you. here is an image of price and birch, of that slave trading firm. one of the things we were interested in is how these photographs were received by northerners, how this idea of black freedom was represented visually and then presented to a northern viewing audience. and for the most part what we found is that freedom, the idea of emancipation, was represented as a non-event.
that black people would remain at work on plantations. i will come back to this one in a sec. we will go with this one, then. that black men -- this is an interesting one, right? this is a picture made by a new hampshire photographer of couldn't bands, those run away slaves, people who liberated themselves on the u.s. vermont in port royal in the sea islands. when you look at this photograph thinking about it from the perspective of the formerly enslaved men and boys on this it's hard not to think about the middle passage, about these men clustered together on the deck of a ship, right? one of the things that we know from reading the letters of african-americans who made transatlantic voyages during the antebellum period and after was that they really had this sense that these ocean voyages were steeped with history that they couldn't escape, right? the history was really embedded in them.
there's a companion image to this but i don't have that shows the officers of the u.s. vermont and, you know, in that image they are all wearing their uniforms and they're standing, right, they're very dignified, there's distance between each man so it creates a very different image of who are the officers and who are the crew and laborers and it creates a very different image, then, of what free black men represent, right, in the context of thinking about the future of the nation. this is a picture contraband yard that depicts women and children and one of the things as we look at these photographs of contraband, which are often reproduced in history texts is we thought it was important to ask who is not pictured. who didn't make it to the camps? who was sold away? in the previous talk we saw those advertisements in the newspapers that people placed looking for lost relatives that had been sold away. and so in this moment of jubilee, in these early moments of emancipation of reconfiguring what the nation looks like at
the individual level, at the family level, at the community level for african-americans that jubilee of freedom was also tinged with a sense of loss, right, of family members who were gone. i should also point out that in the foreground of this image, if you can see it, it is blurry because there are children playing. so we have a number of images that have these blurry spots because children don't stand still for the pictures. this is another image about sort of how emancipation and the future of the nation, right, in the wake of black freedom, what it would look like. you will notice here that the african-americans on this plantation are literally anchored on a bed of cotton, right? so clearly it's a staged photograph, right? the photographer has arranged this tarp on the ground, piled it with raw cotton and then former slaves are seated in the cotton. so, again, emancipation comes
across visually as a nonevent, right? black people remain on the plantation, remain anchored and tied to that plantation labor. i'm sure you are all familiar with this image, right, and the power of so many of these images. one of the things that we sought to do with our research, though, was on the one hand to really recognize and respect the history that the image tells us, but to also offer some alternative thoughts. if you look at the harpers weekly in which this photograph is reproduced as an etching there is a companion piece. has anyone seen it? this is part of a tryptic. some people are nodding so you know what the tryptic is, it's how he comes into the camp in tatters, it's this picture of the scarred back and then what's the third picture? the third picture is him in his union uniform. that is not the image that circulates today in our popular culture. it's not the image of a dignified soldier, right? it's the image of a battered body. so there's something about the currency of these battered bodies that we thought was powerful but we also thought it was worth really taking a moment and stopping to ask why are the
images of battered black bodies so compelling in ways that images of beautiful refined intellectual dignified african-americans are not perceived as so compelling? so this is the image that circulates. we have a number of other familiar pictures, portraits, of slaves -- i'm sorry, of soldiers, some of whom were formerly enslaved, again, showcasing that idea of patriotism, dignity and manhood. we wanted to showcase the role of women in that fight for freedom. this is suzy king taylor. this is one of many people's favorites because it tells a different story and it will get me then to this question about legacies, it suggests the importance of families in african-american communities. right? that soldiers are fighting not just for themselves, not just for their country, but really quite literally in many cases for their families and for their communities. it's also a picture that tells
so thinking about the legacies of emancipation, not reconstruction politics so much but how the idea and the experience of emancipation stayed with americans, stayed with african-american communities and culture long after the moment of emancipation. one of the things that we wanted to do was move beyond the twin poles of reconstruction's promise, right, of this moment of political participation or this moment of the unfinished revolution, right, this is benjamin singleton who would lead the exodus out of the deep south to the midwest to places like kansas in the face of so much domestic violence and terrorism directed against former slaves and free african-americans.
so we wanted to think about what were some of the other legacies. in some cases the legacies were continued military service for african-american men and in that ironic fight for freedom of opening the west as it were to u.s. settlement which necessarily then pitted african-americans against native americans in those wars in the west. right? and so freedom, again, being -- so 1905, this period that's the height of lynching, of african-americans not just men but also women, right, this height of violence and terror
directed specifically at those african-americans in particular who were politically active, politically engaged, economically successful, outspoken and here is the african-american community of richmond, right, having an emancipation day celebration in richmond in 1905. claiming that public space to celebrate not just their emancipation, but their right to take public space, to celebrate the end of slavery, right, their right to assert african-american political culture and social culture with dignity and pride in public. emancipation day celebrations as you know were common across the country. this is a picture from austin, texas, from 1900. again, i think really showcasing formerly enslaved people as beautiful and as dignified and as refined individuals. in this case also as landowners who purchased the land where the celebrations occurred. one of the things that we write about in this book and have continued to write about is
thinking about how the experiences of slavery and emancipation, the experiences of reconstruction violence were really carried in people's bodies. so that as we look at these photographs as historical documents that one of the questions we kept coming back to in terms of thinking about what does freedom look like is who is not in the picture. who is not pictured? what is the loss that accompanied that moment of freedom? what was the loss of family members who were never found again? so this is a picture from 1916 of a woman named elizabeth berkley and a woman named saidie thompson.
again, that sense of graceful refinement but that doesn't tell us about the conditions that brought them together, it doesn't tell us about how they carried their memories or their experiences in their bodies, but it does tell us how they went into 1916 into a reunion of former slaves. this was an event in washington, d.c. that was designed to bring together people who had been enslaved basically to celebrate their survival, right, in 1916. and newspapers up and down the east coast wrote about this event, right? wrote about how local members in washington, d.c. donated their cars so the elderly wouldn't have to walk but could drive to the events. so, again, this sense that that moment of emancipation continued through reconstruction and well after. right. that sense of people carrying those memories with them and wanting to really have those memories and that experience of enslavement and emancipation be part of the political culture in which they lived. so we have a number of images that, again, in the interest of time, because i know i'm standing between you and the ice cream at this point, these are later emancipation images, you can see the american flag here on this younger couple's horse. this is an image, again, from
virginia of an older woman selling ice cream at emancipation celebration. these are the fisk jubilee singers. in all of these images one of the things that's tremendously important to notice is african-americans are crafting their own visual legacies of emancipation. the emphasis is really on refinement and dignity. it's not on their battered bodies, right? it's not on the abuse and dehumanization that they suffered but it's on their sense of self, their sense of themselves as achieving intellectuals and sophisticated individuals. >> this is mary mccloud and the children at her school. this is booker t. washington whose school included a photography department, right, well into the 20th century that trained people in the art of photography. so i want to end now with some reflections on how this story is told in a more modern period. this is an image by courtney elang and for librarians and archivists as well as historians, teachers and those of us interested in this history titles and naming are tremendously important. we know in the african-american community our names are terribly important, right? having that power to name yourself and name your children was tremendously important in marking people's freedom. this image is titled mississippi negris holding cotton. she was born a slave. so we are not given through the title, right, from library of congress any personal information about this woman.
i want to jump ahead. here we go. likewise, this image comes from the archives in missouri and the title that the archives gave this image is portrait of a well dressed woman believed to be a house servant. so i'm going to pause for a second and ask you to look at the picture carefully and ask yourselves is this a woman who defined herself as somebody's servant? no. right? it so clearly is not. here is a woman that has gone to the studio, put on her best clothing, worn her best jewelry, picked this gauzy background to stand in front of. her sense of self bears no relation to the title that her image was given when it was archived, when it was saved. and i think for all of us who do research with sources, who go into the libraries, going into the archives that that's a question we need to ask ourselves, right?
who has titled this document? who has named this person? so with that in mind i want to end with a couple of family portraits. this is a portrait from montana of a woman named emma smith. we know in montana african-american photographers, somewhat oddly, proliferated during the late 19th and early 20th century. here she is, right, a free woman posing with her own children. those are some more children. here we go. this is mrs. graves, a former slave posing with her free born grandchildren in macon, georgia, it's a studio portrait so she paid to have this picture made. i would remind you of that first picture of dolly and that idea of having to hold someone else's child on your lap and pose for
the picture of your owner as sort of the human chair for their child and what that experience must have been like for somebody like dolly and then contrast it with what this experience of having her own portrait made, right, of mrs. graves, going to the photographer's studio with her grandchildren, her free born grandchildren. this woman who had survived slavery, right, to go to the studio and pause with her grandchildren on her lap and have that be the story that she told to her grandchildren and to her family about who she was and what freedom looked like for her, right, is a very different story than what some of those antebellum images and what some of those wartime images would tell us about what freedom and emancipation's legacies looked like. thank you. [ applause ]
>> nice to meet you. >> one of the photos that you showed brings back to mind a famous pair of photos of a young escaped slave, he shows up in one picture in tattered clothes and the other one he is in a crisp uniform and a drummer boy, jackson, i think, was his name. >> yes. >> can you explain the context of this, was this taken as a public relations effort? >> that's a good question. so like that picture that i showed you of gordon with the whip-scarred back, there is a sense among many sympathetic viewers that circulating these images is good pr, right, for the union cause. there's also a sense that it will arouse sympathy, right? that part of the thinking is this is the way of presenting former slaves as people, right, as human beings with their own histories, with their own lives lives, with their own identities, and i don't disagree with that. what i find troubling at a
larger philosophical level -- and somebody recently said to me, right, if you think about sort of all of those, you know, red cross fundraising, it's not fair to put the red cross on the line here -- all this humanitarian fundraising photographs it's always a poor child from africa with a fly on their eye, always a picture of a battered body, not a picture of a resilient person. i know that that pair that you're talking about and i think it's in that same vain of sort of showing the before and after of the potential. >> yes. sorry, we'll alternate here. paul, cleveland, ohio. i just wonder did anyone ever discover the fate of any of these people that were pictured in your photos? >> that's a good question. we looked for dolly strenuously and could not find her. i know a couple of genealogists
who continue to suggest that they can find her and i'm willing to issue the challenge to anyone to find her. there's some people's fate that we know and we write a little about them and some who are just lost to us. that's what made the image of dolly so captivating, it really is haunting that the reason we know about her and her story of self-liberation is because her former master really couldn't let go. couldn't even let go of that picture, had to save it. >> hi, my name is robin, i'm from new york city. i was wondering a lot of these photos seem to reflect a portrait style, you were talking about refinement before and it's reflecting that sort of like the way that white people would almost take photographs before the war. so i was wondering if there was a development of a unique style among african-american photographers and also was there african-american photography used of art more than a sense of refinement or like familial portraits. >> that's a good question. thank you. certainly during that civil war era, right, the style of the photographs is very common, right, sort of ubiquitous. in part i think it represents both that sort of where ideas about art and culture and photography are in general at that time. i think there's also a very clear political undercurrent to
some of that, right, as somebody like douglass would have said, right, about presenting yourself on par with the greatest leaders and the greatest thinkers. i think the period where you see a big sort of aesthetic shift doesn't come until the era of harlem renaissance and xander g. and other photographs who are steeped in showcasing african-american culture in its all of its richness and diversity in the way that i think the political circumstances are so different in that civil war and post civil war moment. >> yes, leif fisher from oxford, ohio. the early photographs of the black ladies with white children. >> yeah. >> i think it's been pretty well documented that a lot of those ladies stayed with those families for a long time, some of them even after the war because they had no other option. are you suggesting that all of those photographs were staged
and those women actually had no affection for those little kids? >> so that's a couple of different questions. let me try to pull this apart a little bit. certainly in terms of economic options we know that many former slaves did not have a wealth of opportunity. >> right. >> and resources ahead of them. we also know that until the 1960s domestic service was the number one occupation for african-american women in this country. the photographs certainly are staged and i think the different question to ask is would those women have preferred to be in a photograph with their own family members, right? if they had the opportunity to create a photograph. >> understood. >> would it have included their family members rather than, you know, in which case they wouldn't be presented as the servant, right, but as the member -- i think the question of affection is a different one, right, and i will say, you know, they are human beings, how could
you not -- i mean -- >> well, i was just looking for data to support the fact that you feel that they were all staged. >> well, the portraits are staged because you have to get into the photographer's studio, you're going to choose your clothes, you're going to choose your backdrop, you're going to choose the composition of who is sitting where so they are staged in that sense. >> correct. >> and by including your slave or servant, right, you're creating a particular kind of image about how you want to present yourself. if these are images you are going to share with family and friends, right, you put on your best clothes, you don't put on your work pants. even though everybody knows you have work pants. right, you put on your best clothes because you're creating a certain kind of story about yourself and your family. >> ok. in that sense. >> that includes your servants. >> thank you. >> hi. >> you mentioned with great
power images from emancipation celebrations and united states c.t. troops. what are good archives to find those pictures, present, say, in classrooms or in public history places to counter the image of the poor slave or the wretched slave? >> thank you, that's a great question. the best resource is the library of congress. the library of congress has an amazing photo archive. you can download on to your own computer for free and use them in the classroom. there's some archives that will also then ask you to pay a $10,000 fee to reproduce them. that's a different story. >> my name is becca from ridge wood, new jersey. as a student of high school art history class i was taught to interpret photos in their context but as a high school student modern photography is really nothing like 19th century photography. i was just wondering if in
making this book did you develop a sort of eye for the portraits of the period? is there a difference? how does one kind of acquire that taste? it's a very esoteric question. >> there is a lot of terrific scholarships on photographic -- the culture of photography and the norms and context. why people pose certain ways in those studio portraits in that mid 19th century moment. for douglass, that picture of douglass, he's looking off to the side because he's posing as a classical statesman, you don't stare at the camera and smile like we do now. it's a totally different context, totally different culture, totally different meanings about what that image meanings. thank you so much. >> hi i'm lee. and before what you were saying about photographing been staged, there wasn't equipment limitation in those days that we
don't have now. you can't move, you have to sit straight and nothing else is going to move. so so. >> the children in all those emancipation celebrations is always a blur at the front of the picture. the children don't stand still. >> my kids don't stand still. >> guys are calling us. everybody can get to the ice cream quickly. you talked about -- booker twa operating forces on photography. martin luther king also recognized the importance of getting things on film. we should talk quickly about the importance of that developing. >> well, --- not documentation,
but as self representation was strictly important through the civil rights movement and then the images not ?? -- not unlike that picture, they are very powerful. thank you. [applause] >> on thursday, august way fifth, american history tv will be live from arlington house, the robert e. lee memorial to mark the centennial of the service. join us to learn more about the park service and arlington house. next on american history tv "reel