11 stunning portraits of former slaves in Dallas

Today is Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates emancipation of slaves in Texas, where slavery’s end didn’t begin until two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation took effect.

From 1936-1938, the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Writers’ Project took oral histories from former slaves across the nation, including these 11 people in Dallas, Texas. Some of the stories are available online at the Library of Congress.

Cato Carter: Photo via Library of Congress
Cato Carter: Photo via Library of Congress
Julia Daniels: Photo via Library of Congress
Julia Daniels: Photo via Library of Congress
Mose Hursey: Photo via Library of Congress
Mose Hursey: Photo via Library of Congress
Andrew Goodman: Photo via Library of Congress
Andrew Goodman: Photo via Library of Congress
James Johnson: Photo via Library of Congress
James Johnson: Photo via Library of Congress
Mary Ellen Johnson: Photo via Library of Congress
Mary Ellen Johnson: Photo via Library of Congress
William Moore: Photo via Library of Congress
William Moore: Photo via Library of Congress
Laura Redman: Photo via Library of Congress
Laura Redman: Photo via Library of Congress
Callie Shepard: Photo via Library of Congress
Callie Shepard: Photo via Library of Congress
Emma Watson: Photo via Library of Congress
Emma Watson: Photo via Library of Congress
Lula Wilson: Photo via Library of Congress
Lula Wilson: Photo via Library of Congress
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  • 88

    Awesome post these photo’s show how strong these ppl are although they faced systematic racism and terrorism on a daily basis they still survived as a ppl. Great Photos!

  • KoeniginLuisevonPreussen

    It’s inspiring how much strength and dignity these people have.

    I’m impressed by two other things: in spite of the fact that they lived under SLAVERY and are undoubtedly poor, they are dressed in a dignified manner, and they have normal American names like “James” and “Mary Ellen.”

    It’s a lot easier to feel sympathy and admiration for these people, than for someone named Shitavious Cook, or with pants around ankles and a ridiculous “grill” in his mouth…

    http://herald-review.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/shitavious-cook-gets-years-in-shooting-pleas/article_280e78cd-3b32-510b-a980-6ea4f33b9a49.html

  • bertbeauman

    Wish my neighbors in Lakewood could have seen this article. It goes a long way in celebrating the diversity in our city.

  • Smokey

    I see both dignity and humility on each face within these photographs. I saw the same look on the faces of the survivor’s and victims of The Trail of Tears as they were force marched into isolation during those sad times.
    The faces of those emancipated and the faces of those socially enslaved by the same powerful government only a few years apart. You ask how can the gaze be so much the same?
    Look closer, deep into their eyes and you will understand; it is likely the ponderance of uncertainty …..
    The toll of the bell has many meanings, perspective is the interpreter.
    Smokey Burns