Sunday, June 27, 2010

John for $1,150

When I first saw this photo I commented to a friend that when people think of slavery these days it seems to be in a very nebulous way, i.e. the concept more so than the actual people. This picture of these children serves as a reminder and puts this horrid period into better perspective. (thx for passing it along AJ)

Ftom AP...
A haunting 150-year-old photo found in a North Carolina attic shows a young black child named John, barefoot and wearing ragged clothes, perched on a barrel next to another unidentified young boy. Art historians believe it’s an extremely rare Civil War-era photograph of children who were either slaves at the time or recently emancipated.

In April, the photo was found at a moving sale in Charlotte, accompanied by a document detailing the sale of John for $1,150, not a small sum in 1854. “I think this picture shows that the institution of slavery didn’t pick or choose,” said Soodalter, who has written several books on historic and modern slavery. “This was a generic horror. It victimized the old, the young.”

“This kid was abused and mistreated and people forgot about him,” Morgan said. “He doesn’t even exist in history. And to know that there were a million children who were like him. I’ve never seen another photo like that that speaks so much for children.”

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