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Picture Freedom – Remaking Black Visuality in the Early Nineteenth Century - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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Picture Freedom: Remaking Black Visuality in the Early Nineteenth Century

Jasmine Nichole Cobb


In the decades leading up to the end of U.S. slavery, many free Blacks sat for daguerreotypes decorated in fine garments to document their self-possession. People pictured in these early photographs used portraiture to seize control over representation of the free Black body and reimagine Black visuality divorced from the cultural logics of slavery. This book analyzes the ways in which the circulation of various images prepared free Blacks and free Whites for the emancipation of formerly unfree people of African descent. It traces the emergence of Black freedom as both an idea and as an image ... More

Keywords: slavery, free Blacks, portraiture, photographs, emancipation, Black freedom, African American citizenship, nationhood

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9781479817221
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479817221.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jasmine Nichole Cobb, author