April 06, 2015

April 06, 2015

Black History: African-American settlement | IndyStar

“Former slaves, encountering pre-Civil War oppression in Indiana, sought to declare their independence by forming their own communities. They left urban areas for rural settings, living out their dreams of buying land and finding refuge from economic, social and political bias.

By 1860, there were more than 60 black settlements in Indiana, including many whose nicknames defined their purpose: “Colored Freedom” was the moniker for Dubois County’s Pinkston community. ”

April 5, 2015

April 5, 2015

Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror | Equal Justice Initiative

“EJI researchers documented 3959 racial terror lynchings of African Americans in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia between 1877 and 1950 – at least 700 more lynchings of black people in these states than previously reported in the most comprehensive work done on lynching to date.

A History of Racial Justice | Equal Justice Initiative

This is an interactive timeline presented by the Equal Just Initiative. The timeline dates back from 1610 to 2010 and holds many points of injustice for African Americans. 

The Black Okies by Matt Black

Photo journalist, Matt Black, creates a rich project that documents life in rural Central Valley California. Freedom Village Allensworth, CA is one of the places he documents. 

These photographs document a disappearing group of black sharecroppers who migrated to California’s San Joaquin Valley over a half century ago. Unlike their white counterparts — the “Okies” of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath — the story of these migrants has gone largely untold.

Today, just a handful of surviving migrants and their descendants still live in the Valley, scattered in remote communities built amid the cotton fields. These photographs chronicle daily life in these disappearing communities, and document this forgotten chapter of American rural life.
— Matt Black (website)
I grew up in the Valley, started photography there, and I came to realize pretty early on that circling the globe with nothing really to say about what I was seeing was not going to be my thing. I felt like the last thing the world needed was another photographer chasing headlines, and I knew this other place.
— Matt Black

To learn more about Black and The Black Okies Project, read this interview with Columbia Visuals. Also make sure to see the complete series here.