Image of the Week #24: "Recital of Negro Songs"

The Wellesley News (04-30-1919)

What Is It

An article from the Wellesley News, the student newspaper of Wellesley College, from the late 1910s. 

Why I Find It Interesting

Any time an educational institution that caters to middle and upper-class white people begins to speak of African Americans, it's always worth listening to. Throw in that the article is from the 1910s, a racially-tense period of history (ok, that's not saying much in truth--all of our history in the United States is racially tense), and it's for sure to be curious.  The characterization of the young African-American women who had visited has all sorts of interesting tells.  Their "unusual effect of their harmony" and the "miserable little cabin" certain reveal their judgment.  I'm left wondering how or why did the boys' building burn down.  Was this an accident or something done by others less interested in the education of African American youth?  And overall, as an article about the recital, it's curious how very little focused on the recital itself and more on the conditions of the "miserable" school.

This submission is part of the Image of the Week series.  For access to all photos, which are open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.