Lincoln in Black and White: 1910-1925

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Lincoln, Nebraska's capital, grew from 45,000 to 55,000 residents in the years 1910–1925. The state's second-largest city, Lincoln was also home to Nebraska's second-largest African American community—a "small town" within the midwestern city. Local race relations were a study in contradictions. Public education and residential neighborhoods were relatively integrated; employment and social institutions were increasingly restricted. Within this setting, a laborer named John Johnson—a native of Lincoln and son of a black Civil War veteran—produced remarkable images as an itinerant photographer of the Lincoln scene, especially of its black community. Johnson left very little written record, so knowledge is fragmentary of his working techniques and of his collaborators or assistants. But his visual legacy takes people through the streets, onto the front porches, and into the backyards and living rooms of a vibrant community.
ISBN: 9780738561622
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Nebraska
Series: Images of America
Images: 200
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
As a Lincoln youth interested in photography in the mid-1960s, Douglas Keister chanced upon and acquired over 250 negatives of Lincoln places and people—mostly African American people. He safeguarded the fragile glass plates as he developed a career in California as a professional photographer and author on photography, architecture, and history. In the 1990s, Lincoln's historic preservation planner Edward F. Zimmer began to encounter evocative photographs of Lincoln's early black community in research on local African American heritage. By combining Keister's negatives and the Lincoln research, a photographer's unique perspective on a community was again revealed.
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