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Posts Tagged ‘African American history’

Unknown (Dominican), Saint Nicholas of Bari's Hospital, Santo Domingo, Photographer: Anthony Stevens Acevedo, Image: 2009. Photograph copyright © CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, First Blacks in the Americas collection.

Unknown (Dominican), Saint Nicholas of Bari’s Hospital, Santo Domingo, Photographer: Anthony Stevens Acevedo, Image: 2009. Photograph copyright © CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, First Blacks in the Americas collection.

La Española, the island now divided into the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti, existed first as a Spanish colony during the entire sixteenth century, when its population became the first one in the Americas with a majority of people of African descent. The Black ancestors of today’s Dominicans were the first to experience the dreadful transatlantic slave trade, and the first to offer organized resistance as soon as they landed in La Española. They were also the first to endure and survive all the varieties of enslaved labor and enslaved life, and the first to thrive and produce new generations of Afro-descendants born in the “New World.”

Sixteenth-Century La Española: Glimpses of the First Blacks in the Early Colonial Americas,” an exhibition opening this week at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, presents images of manuscripts, transcriptions, translations, and photographs that tell the story of the earliest Black inhabitants of the Americas. The exhibit includes photographs of sites of the Dominican Republic’s colonial past by Anthony Stevens-Acevedo, Assistant Director of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at The City College of New York, the co-curator of the exhibit and a colonial historian. Dr. Lissette Acosta Corniel, CUNY DSI Post-Doctoral Fellow, is also a co-curator of the exhibit.

The show is an offshoot of “First Blacks in the Americas,” a long term CUNY DSI online project focusing on photographs that were part of the living environment of Black people in that territory during colonial times. Part of the collection is available in Shared Shelf Commons, an open-access library of digital media from Shared Shelf subscribers.

“Sixteenth-Century La Española: Glimpses of the First Blacks in the Early Colonial Americas” opens May 22 6:30–8:00 PM, and is on view through September 10, 2015 at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, NAC Building Room 2/202, The City College of New York, 160 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031.

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Luke C. Dilton | Colored Women's League of Washington, D.C.; ca. 1894 | Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States (Library of Congress)

Luke C. Dilton | Colored Women’s League of Washington, D.C.; ca. 1894 | Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States (Library of Congress)

Amber N. Wiley, Ph.D. , Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture, Tulane University

Historian Constance Green characterized Washington, D.C. in the early 1900s as the “undisputed center of American Negro civilization” in her 1969 book Secret City: History of Race Relations in the Nation’s Capital. This was America before the Harlem Renaissance, in which the average percentile of the capital’s black population ranged from 25-33% throughout the nineteenth century. This population peaked between 1960 and 1990. This black Washington spans from the antebellum period through abolitionism, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Black Power, Parliament’s “Chocolate City,” and the so-called “post-racial” Obama era.

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Jacob Lawrence | The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 3 | 1940 – 1941 |Image and original data provided by The Museum of Modern Art. © 2008 Estate of Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Jacob Lawrence | The Migration of the Negro, panel no. 3 | 1940 – 1941 |Image and original data provided by The Museum of Modern Art. © 2008 Estate of Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Last year, we marked Black History month with a summary of some of the excellent resources on Black History available in the Artstor Digital Library, including many collections that cover African art and culture. This year, we expand the list to include a variety of additional resources that focus on the lives and achievements of African Americans in particular.

Collections

Unidentified | African American woman and sweet peas | ca. 1920 | George Eastman House; eastmanhouse.org

Unidentified | African American woman and sweet peas | ca. 1920 | George Eastman House; eastmanhouse.org

Panos Pictures The independent photo agency specializes in documentary images of critical social issues, including thousands of images from the United States, many of them tackling issues affecting the lives of African Americans.

Milton Rogovin: Social Documentary Photographs Rogovin began his first photographic series in 1958 documenting African-American store front churches in Buffalo, NY, and would go on to record many other topics surrounding the black community.

Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery (Scripps College) The Gallery includes the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection, which has a special focus on art by women and African-Americans, including Elizabeth Catlett, Samella Lewis, Faith Ringgold, and Alison Saar.

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