Flash Back Photo: Capturing the Emancipation of a Young Frederick Douglass

0 Posted by - May 15, 2022 - BLACK ART, LATEST POSTS, Photography

By Victor Trammell

Photo credits: The Greg French Collection

It was said in an update posted on the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site’s Facebook fan page on May 15, 2022, that the picture shown above is thought to be the very first photograph, which was ever taken of Frederick Douglass.

Douglass (a legendary abolitionist) was one of the greatest writers and orators in United States history. This particular image was captured sometime around the year 1841. The colorized monochrome was taken a short time after he had successfully emancipated himself from slavery. When compared to subsequent photographs of Douglass, which were taken with exposure times of just a few seconds, the time required to expose this photograph would have been many minutes.

A golden-colored frame can be seen around a black-and-white photograph of a younger Frederick Douglass who is seen posing studiously in this specific illustration.

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