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“Comedy” Masking Tragedy: Currier & Ives’ Darktown Series

This resource looks at the Darktown series—a group of racist lithographic prints produced by the nineteenth-century firm Currier & Ives. Utilizing primary source materials from the Library of Congress, the study discusses these images in relation to the Gilded Age, specifically, how they reinforced white supremacist ideology and perpetrated violence against African Americans and black communities. It argues that the prints were instruments of violence that reinforced disenfranchisement, Jim Crow, and lynching during the last decades of the nineteenth century and beyond.

WARNING This site contains images and language that are disturbing and offensive.

Credits

Joshua Dubbert, M.A. (Bowling Green State University)

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