Why did God make me an outcast and a stranger in mine own house?
July 25, 2016 5:42 PM   Subscribe

Victorian Women of Color: A Rare ViewPhotos of Women of Color from this era are hard to come by, especially "family" photographs. Sadly these beautiful and touching images go unnamed. A couple of these photos were taken when there was still slavery in the United States. [Downtown LA Life Magazine is] honored to present these images as part of our dedication to the photographic history of our country.

Scroll to the end to read about Bridget "Biddy" Mason (August 15, 1818 in Hancock County, Georgia – January 15, 1891 in Los Angeles, California) an African American nurse, and a California real estate entrepreneur and philanthropist.
posted by Johnny Wallflower (15 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
Looking at these women, I wonder about their lives. The women look kind of well-to-do though a few look like well dressed maids. Biddy was quite impressive.

Thanks for sharing this.
posted by shoesietart at 6:10 PM on July 25, 2016

Watch out for the autoplay music (with no way to turn it off???)
posted by clorox at 6:28 PM on July 25, 2016 [5 favorites]

There's an icon of a speaker on the tab in Firefox and if you click it the music turns off. I don't know if it's different in other browsers.
posted by Deoridhe at 6:45 PM on July 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

I love photo sets like this, to see how the people in the past were every bit as individual as people of the present.

But I want to know more! Where are these photos from? and who are the women? I wonder if any of their families will find them through this.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:49 PM on July 25, 2016

Sorry, there was no music with iOS Safari.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:52 PM on July 25, 2016

In Chrome you can right click the tab and select "mute tab".

Are all these photos of women in the United States? I got confused by the use of the term "Victorian", didn't realize Victorian America was a thing until now.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 7:11 PM on July 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not all from the US. I've posted this link before: Black Victoriana and it looks like this page is reposting some of the same images without context. There's a book and a couple of museum shows as well, but I don't have those links on my phone.
posted by betweenthebars at 7:38 PM on July 25, 2016 [6 favorites]

The photo directly underneath the W.E.B DuBois quote is quite striking and my favorite from the set (the woman wearing the heart necklace), along with the photo of several women holding hands. I wish we could know more about their lives.
posted by littlesq at 8:30 PM on July 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

The best thing about Victorian fashion is the hats.
posted by quaking fajita at 8:32 PM on July 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh man, I found a photo -- actually three of the same -- in my great aunt's home when i Was a child. It was mixed in among piles of other photos.

There were three photos of the same woman, black, in a white dress much like these in style, and it was printed on this heavy card. I thought at the time it might have been a calling card?

I was pretty young but it still clunked through my brain that this was an odd find in a home belonging to white (Scottish) Canadians in Maple Ridge BC (Also known as Haney). I always regretted I asked my great aunt if she remembered the origin of the photos... if this woman had visited them while she was young it would surely have been memorable.

Thanks for this post... it has reignited a dormant ambition to go see if the photos remain with my Great Aunts effects, many of which are in my uncle's basement...
posted by chapps at 10:18 PM on July 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

[I love the one with the umbrella and all the bead work... no doubt the umbrella helped you stand still for the photo]
posted by chapps at 10:19 PM on July 25, 2016

My favorite is the second one down on the left --- her smile just seems to say, 'I know my strength and my value as a human being, and there's not a thing you can do to me.'
posted by easily confused at 5:10 AM on July 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

Music did not play for me, yay, I think because I don't have QT enabled.

These are awesome; I think only a handful of the photos available ... like, Du Bois's own mother is not here. But still.

posted by allthinky at 6:58 AM on July 26, 2016

I think the standing woman in the 1860s gown (with the giant skirt and pagoda sleeves) is Sarah Forbes Bonetta.
posted by nonasuch at 9:14 AM on July 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

"Sadly these beautiful and touching images go unnamed."

True, true. But then, so do most of the burial sites.

They are beautiful ... a rose by any other name ...
posted by Twang at 9:36 AM on July 26, 2016

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