Literature and Newspapers for Black Children since 1920

At the turn of the 20th century, one young black editor implored his peers: ‘Let us make the world know that we are living.’ Introduction Hanging on the wall in my office is the framed cover of the inaugural issue of The Brownies’ Book, a monthly periodical for Black youths created by W.E.B. Du Bois[…]

Black Photography as a Tool for Social Change in the 19th Century

Cameras played a critical role in the quest for social equality for Black Americans in the post-slavery era. Introduction Frederick Douglass is perhaps best known as an abolitionist and intellectual. But he was also the most photographed American of the 19th century. And he encouraged the use of photography to promote social change for Black equality. In[…]

Miniature Mosaics in the Byzantine World

The Byzantines began creating portable mosaic icons by setting small tesserae into wax or resin on wood panels. Introduction For many of us, the term “mosaics” evokes the soaring golden walls and ceilings of the Eastern Roman “Byzantine” Empire. But from approximately the twelfth to the fourteenth century, the Byzantines also began creating mosaics that[…]

A Work in Progress: Middle Byzantine Mosaics in the Hagia Sophia

These mosaics illustrate the ways Hagia Sophia became entangled in and responded to theological controversies and more. Introduction Who was the artwork’s patron? What were the artwork’s original meanings and functions? When art historians study a work of art, they ask questions about the artwork’s initial creation. But often, works of art and architecture change[…]