African American People

The Black Elite in America

Washington D.C. was both the capitol of the United States, but also the black elite. It was in this city, which was built with the labor of thousands of African-Americans, to which the beacon lights of the nation drew like moths to a flame. The “colored elite” of the capitol centered around Howard University and …

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African American Women

Images of Progress: African-American Women

The “Exhibit of American Negroes” included thousands of photographs, as well as hundreds of books, pamphlets and assorted documents chronicling the experience of African Americans up to the year 1900. This is a sample of the photographs assembled for the exhibit, with a focus on the women. Unfortunately, these photos did not include the names …

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African American Etiquette

African-American Etiquette

During the Gilded Age, American publishers met the needs of social climbers aspiring to emulate their betters by producing endless etiquette manuals, so did small presses meet the aspirations of newly wealthy blacks surging into the enclaves formerly preserved for the black elite. These etiquette books addressed the unique situation in which black Americans were …

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