Program Shares Ante-Bellum Era Vintage Photographs of African Americans


Most frequently seen images of African Americans from pre-Civil War times show them barefoot and poorly clothed. Collector Craig James has striking images of elegant and proud African Americans from that period. He will offer “A New Look at Early African American Images,” Thursday, Feb. 21 at 12:30 p.m., in the Archives & History/State Library Building,109 E. Jones St., Raleigh.

The Black History Month program is presented by the EEO Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. 

“I feel fortunate to have discovered each of these images,” James observes. “This could have been lost history, but they demonstrate the worth of the individual, no matter their station in life.”

James, a Smithfield attorney, is originally from Pender County and has collected dozens of images of 19th century African Americans, among them one of his ancestors who was enslaved. The tintype, daguerreotype and Carte De Visites (CDV’s) are from the earliest days of photography, when to be photographed was expensive and rare.

In addition to explaining the early photographic techniques, James will consider who the subjects were and how they came to be photographed. The free, public program will include a Powerpoint presentation and a small exhibit of some of his photos.

For additional information call (919) 815-6655.  

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