Black & White in Black & White Images of Dignity, Hope, & Diversity in America 4th Floor Gallery through September 27, 2020
Black and White in Black and White: Images of Dignity, Hope, and Diversity in America offers an historical look at black lives in the United States featuring a striking collection of photographs attributed to John Johnson, a black photographer from Lincoln, Nebraska. Between 1910 and 1925, Johnson's camera captured a noble portrait of Black America at a time when such efforts were rare. Equally as important as Johnson's depictions of black Americans are his images of multiracial community gatherings, an infrequent occurrence at the time.
In 1965, 16-year-old Doug Keister acquired 280 of Johnson's glass plate negatives from a garage sale. He immediately made prints from some of these plates, revealing powerful, early 20th-century portraits of Lincoln's black community. The Smithsonian Institute recently acquired 60 of these photographs for their collection and Michele Gates Moresi, curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, underscores Johnson's work. "They speak to a time and a place where African Americans were treated as second-class citizens but lived their lives with dignity.... You can read about it and hear people talk about it, but to actually see the images is something entirely different."
Black and White in Black and White: Images of Dignity, Hope, and Diversity in America is curated by Douglas Keister, traveled by Exhibit Envoy, and presented with support from California State University, Chico.