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Tag: black history

Douglass and the Daguerreotype–a Guest Post by Marcy J. Dinius

In time, Douglass became so interested in the connection between the visual arts, imagination, humanity, and progress toward liberty and justice that he wrote and delivered a set of lectures on the subject between 1861 and 1865. He began both the earlier and the later versions of his “Lecture on Pictures” with an extended consideration of the daguerreotype. After being daguerreotyped multiple times in the 1840s and 1850s, the former slave had become a man in his daguerreian portrait. His lectures suggest that if his audiences were to look at his or any other African American’s image and reflect on its likeness to their own, the daguerreotype would show them the reality of blacks’ humanity and awaken them to their own.