9 Iconic Photographs from African American History

These iconic photographs below were selected from the book Through the African American Lens by TIME magazine. Many of the images in the book are taken by famous photographers such as Spider Martin, Gordon Parks, Ernest C. Withers, Wayne F. Miller, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, serve as a view into the dynamic history of Americans of African descent.

african-american-lens-01.jpg
Photographer Zack Brown shooting dapper men in Harlem, ca. 1937. (Eliot Elisofon—Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, © Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin)

african-american-lens-02.jpg
Elks Parade, Harlem, 1938. (Jack Manning—Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, © Estate of Jack Manning)

african-american-lens-03.jpg
African American Jewish Congregation in Harlem, children studying, 1940. (Alexander Alland—Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, © Alexander Alland Jr.)

african-american-lens-04.jpg
An afternoon game at Table 2, from the series The Way of Life of the Northern Negro, 1946-1948. (Wayne F. Miller—Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, © Wayne F. Miller)

african-american-lens-05.jpg
Ernie Banks, Larry Doby, Matty Brescia, Jackie Robinson, Martin’s Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee, 1953. (Ernest C. Withers—Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, © Ernest C. Withers Trust)

See more »