Picturing United States History Logo

White into Black: Seeing Race, Slavery, and Anti-Slavery in Antebellum America

Sarah L. Burns, Indiana University
Joshua Brown, The Graduate Center, CUNY

More on this Subject

Books and Articles

•Vivien M. Green [Fryd], “Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave: Emblem of Freedom,” American Art Journal 14:4 (Autumn 1982): 31-39.

•Joy S. Kasson, “Narratives of the Female Body: The Greek Slave,” in Kasson, Marble Queens and Captives: Women in Nineteenth-Century American Sculpture (New Haven, 1990), Chapter 3.

•Phillip Lapansky, “Graphic Discord: Abolitionist and Antiabolitionist Images,” in The Abolitionist Sisterhood: Women’s Political Culture in Antebellum America, ed. Jean Fagan Yellin and John C. Van Horne (Ithaca, 1994), 201-30.

•Richard J. Powell, “Cinqué: Antislavery Portraiture and Patronage in Jacksonian America,” American Art 11:3 (Fall 1997): 48-73.

•Colin L. Westerbeck, “Frederick Douglass Chooses His Moment,” in African Americans in Art: Selections from the Art Institute of Chicago, ed. Susan F. Rosen (Chicago, 1999), 9-25.

•Marcus Wood, Blind Memory: Visual Representations of Slavery in England and America, 1780-1865 (New York, 2000).


The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture. Drawn from the black history and culture collections of the Library of Congress, the materials on this site cover four areas: colonization, abolition, migrations, and the 1930s.

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record (Jerome S. Handler and Michael L. Tuite, Jr., University of Virginia).
An archive of more than one thousand images chronicling the forced movement of African peoples to the Americas and their experience of slavery.

Beyond Face Value: Depictions of Slavery in Confederate Currency (Leah Wood Jewett, Project Director, U.S. Civil War Center).
This online exhibit focuses on depictions of slaves on southern currency as a way to interpret the culture and identity of the region before and during the Civil War.

Images of African Americans from the 19th Century (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library).
This site contains roughly 500 searchable images selected primarily from the Photographs and Prints Division of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin and American Culture (Stephen Railton, Director, University of Virginia).

A detailed analysis of the historical context surrounding the publication and public reception of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s abolitionist novel, including its visualization through history