In Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery, renowned photographic historian Deborah Willis and historian of slavery Barbara Krauthamer have amassed 150 photographs—some never before published—from the antebellum days of the 1850's through the New Deal era of the 1930's. The authors vividly display the seismic impact of emancipation on African Americans born before and after the Emancipation Proclamation, providing a perspective on freedom and slavery and a way to understand the photos as documents of engagement, action, struggle, and aspiration. From photos of the enslaved on plantations and African American soldiers and camp workers in the Union Army to Juneteenth celebrations, slave reunions, and portraits of black families and workers in the American South, the images in this book challenge perceptions of slavery. They show not only what the subjects emphasized about themselves but also the ways Americans of all colors and genders opposed slavery and marked its end.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the nation's largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting, and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. Established by an Act of Congress in 2003, it is the culmination of decades of efforts to establish a national museum that promotes and highlights the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected close to 37,000 objects.