Hand-colored photos of early Japanese villagers
  • Old family photos
  • 1950s photos of cops, artist, black boys
  • " />
    Auction Finds

    Early photos offer glimpse of desegregated classes

    Where I come from, Bibb County, GA, you won’t likely see photos of black and white children in the same class before the 1960s. That just did not happen in the South – especially not in 1937.

    So I am always surprised to see class photos that depict this intermingling, or at least a racial mix. What the photos don’t show is how the children interacted back in the classrooms or on the school grounds at recess.

    Recently, I came across almost a dozen elementary school photos from 1937 that showed a handful of black boys and girls in each class. The photos gave up no information about the school, its name or its location, not even the photographer’s name. Written in fountain-pen ink in the top left margin of each photo was only the year, 1937. Graffiti (GS + PW) can be seen on the school wall in several of the photos.

    An elementary school photo marked with the year 1937. There's no indentification on the photo.

    An elementary school photo marked with the year 1937. There’s no identification on the photo.

    I was very curious about how these photos ended up on the auction table. Was the school cleaning out its inventory? Or had these been in the possession of a dealer for years who was now cleaning out his own stash? In fact, tons of photos presumably from the same source have turned up recently at auction, including some pre-1950s pictures shot by a Cleveland amateur photographer.

    Among the school photos at auction was one of children sitting in front of a Christmas tree. There was no date on the photo, but there was a photography studio: Branch Photo Service, which was stamped in green ink on the back along with a partial address and phone number.

    From what I could decipher, the photographer was based in Yonkers, NY., which had a long march toward school desegregation. “… racial segregation was only an intermittent issue throughout the 1940s and 1950s (in Yonkers),” according to a 2004 report by Harvard and Princeton professors. The NAACP sued city and school officials, and a federal judge ruled in 1985 that those officials since 1949 had deliberately segregated both public schools and public housing by race. The schools began the desegregation process, but it would be 27 years before the lawsuit would eventually end.

    Here is a sampling of the school photos:

    Elementary school photo. This Christmas-time photo was stamped with the address of a Yonkers, NY, photography service.

    Elementary school photo. This Christmas-time photo was stamped with the address of a Yonkers, NY, photography service.

     

    Elementary school photo. The boy on the bottom row right has tattoos on his arm.

    Elementary school photo, 1937. The white boy on the bottom row right has tattoos on his arm. The year is written in ink at the top left.

     

    Elementary school photo.

    Elementary school photo, 1937.

     

    Elementary school photo.

    Elementary school photo, 1937.

     

    Elementary school photo.

    Elementary school photo, 1937. While everyone else looks straight  into the camera, the black boy on the front row looks downward.

     

    Elementary school photo.

    Elementary school photo, 1937.

    Tagged as: , ,

    Leave a Response

    Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

    bbc galapagos las islas que cambiaron el mundogalapagos cruise reviewsbest cruise ships galapagos islandsbest family galapagos cruisebest time to go to galapagos and machu picchubest time to go to peru and galapagosbiotech bedrijf galapagosbiotechnologiebedrijf galapagosbudget galapagos boat toursbudget galapagos cruise pricescaracteristicas de las islas galapagos antiguascaracteristicas de las islas galapagos flora y faunacaracteristicas de las islas galapagos mas antiguascaracteristicas islas antiguas galapagoscaracteristicas islas mas antiguas galapagoscelebrity cruise galapagos machu picchucelebrity cruise lines galapagos islandscelebrity cruises galapagos machu picchucelebrity cruises galapagos reviewscelebrity cruises galapagos xpeditioncelebrity xpedition galapagos 2014celebrity xpedition galapagos cancelledcelebrity xpedition galapagos cruisecelebrity xpedition galapagos cruise 2014celebrity xpedition galapagos excursionscelebrity xpedition galapagos machu picchucelebrity xpedition galapagos price