Reality of Black History Brought Home Through Vintage Photography Rosemary McKittrick brings history to life in her weekly LiveAuctionTalk.com columns. Visit the site. Sign up for a free weekly subscription.
News-Antique.com - May 07,2008 - Santa Fe, May 7, 2008--For 200 years the chains of slavery bound Black Americans. Like cattle, they were reduced to property.
In some states it was illegal to teach them to read and write. They could not leave their plantations without a pass, could not own property and could not complain about the beatings.
The slave trade was good for business and breaking the chains was no easy task.
“You ain’t, none of you, going to feel real free till you shake the dust of the Old Plantation off your feet and go to a new place where you can live out of sight of the great house,” announced one newly emancipated slave.
As a test of freedom, another freed slave walked away from his Louisiana plantation just to see if he would be stopped without a pass. Once slavery ended, the strongest reason for leaving was lost family members.
Ex-slaves jammed dusty southern roads searching for loved ones.
One man walked 600 miles looking for the wife and kids he lost when he was sold away. Another woman found her husband 20 years later in a refugee camp after the war.
What we know today about the era of slavery and the Abolitionists comes to us through letters, books, broadsides, photos; and documents left behind. Each provides a pulse on the social history of the times. Each is highly prized by collectors.
On Feb 21, Swann Auction Galleries, New York, featured a selection of Abolitionist materials in its Printed & Manuscript African-Americana sale.
A rare image, carte-de-visite photograph of Black soldiers standing next to recently freed slaves on wash day in front of farmhouse sold for $3,360.
Read the entire article at www.LiveAuctionTalk.com