African American Images of Suffolk: Two Americas (ca. 1922)
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African American Images of Suffolk: Two Americas (ca. 1922)

African American Images of Suffolk: Two Americas (ca. 1922)

Library of Virginia

An early image of an African American home near downtown Suffolk, ca. 1922. I came across this postcard in the Library of Virginia archives several years ago. There are two young children pictured to the right, standing inside their fenced yard. To the left is a distant figure of a man in the neighboring yard. All three were carefully watching the photographer, probably wondering what he was doing there. Though very near Main Street in Suffolk, this neighborhood has nothing of the trappings of the wealthier white neighborhoods nearby, such as Riverview, and the mansions on the other side of Main Street, near the courthouse. Nearly seventy years after Emancipation, two Americas, in black and white.

Nadia Orton

Professional genealogist and public historian. Graduate of Duke University. President of the Sacred Grounds Project, Inc. Studying historic African American cemeteries and communities.

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