Friday, February 12, 2010

Child with wagon - history

We don't know very much about this photograph. It is one of 764 photographs that we will be posting on our digital library soon. All the photos were taken by a name named Harry Walker and were in a bunch that were given to us by a gentleman named Keeland. The photographs span from 1900 to 1940 and capture a moment in time in the Houston, Texas area.

In honor of Black history month I've culled out some of the photos that feature Black Americans during that time. Grandparents and parents of these children would have been slaves. When these photos were taken in the early 20th century they would have been share croppers, laborers, and house servants.

Slices of life during Jim Crow.

Just like many areas in the southern United States the history of Black Americans is sad and violent. Knowing a little bit about the history makes these photos very meaningful. Racism knew no age limits.

What do you think these photos tell us about the lives of these children's families?
Isn't he a cutie pie? Wearing his little suit and saluting. I've totally fallen in love with him.

Of the over 700 photos in the collection there are only about a dozen that feature African Americans. Which is really not surprising since most of the photos are family photos from a prominent white family.
And these two. Couldn't you just eat them up?

I've just titled the next set of photographs. Like I said we know virtually nothing about them.

Couple watching child.

Woman in field.

The picnic.
People had great hats back then. I want their hats. I'm a bit of a hat whore.

Men siting.
More great hats.

Have a happy Valentines day.


  1. These are fabulous photos! They certainly do give you a glimpse of days gone by. And the days weren't good for all. I noticed in that photo of the picnic all the people being served were white and all those serving were black.
    Not that I lived in the days when these were taken, but it does sometimes catch me by surprise when I realize that I lived during the civil rights movement. Doesn't seem possible.

    Thanks for stopping by and visiting with Jessie and me. I understand about your Border Collie. I've never had one but know they are wonderful dogs, too.

  2. Very cool photos. Maybe when you put them up, someone will come forward with more information?

  3. I love the picture of the two little girls - that smile is just dazzling!

    My mother was a hat whore too - she was the only woman I knew who wore them, and she looked good in them, too (she wore them because she hated her hair).

  4. I loved these all. The children's clothing got me... Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love these photos. I live in the deep and dirty south. Let me tell you, racism is still alive and it is very sad. Having grown up where racism was frowned upon and actually a rarity -- I just can't get used to the attitudes around here. I'm refreshed by posts like yours.

    Sorry that I haven't been around much lately. Josh and I needed a few months to find ourselves again. You know?


  6. Speaking of hats, see how the boy pulling the wagon is already sporting a grown-up hat while his young passenger is still in his child's cap? He's grownup already with grown-up responsibilities. Love the couple standing in front of their garden - you could call them "Couple in front of garden watching a child." Heck, I could spend all day looking at old pictures of interesting people - and smiling doggies :-).

  7. You always have the best old photos. And you're right about the hats!

  8. They are beautiful and haunting. I always wonder about the people in old photographs like that...what their names were, what they were thinking.

    And also, where to get a hat like that....great minds think alike!

  9. I love these. They're each a story undo themselves. Thanks for sharing.