Missouri Digital Heritage :: Education :: Progress Among Prejudice :: Exploring the African American Portrait

Progress Amidst Prejudice:
Portraits of African Americans in Missouri, 1880-1920

Original Document Worksheet: Exploring the African America Portrait

After you have selected the portrait you’d like to analyze, use it to answer the following questions.

  1. What is the name of the photograph you selected? What would you name it if you were selecting a name that was more personalized?

  2. What is the first thing you notice about the portrait? (This is not a “right or wrong” question. Use your first instinct.)

  3. Who are the subjects of your portrait? Male or Female? Child, Adult, or Elderly? What are they wearing? What are they doing?

  4. Using the Fact Sheet, what assumptions might you make about the subject(s) of your portrait, especially regarding education, business, literacy and home life?

  5. Can you tell where in Missouri your portrait was made?

  6. Using the Census Data Worksheet, what can you assert about the black population in the community where your portrait was created?

  7. Why is it of historical interest to preserve and make available to the public these portraits?

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