A Guide to the African American Community Photographs Collection, ca. 1861-1990s African American Community Photographs Collection

A Guide to the African American Community Photographs Collection, ca. 1861-1990s

A Collection in
Alexandria Library
Local History/Special Collections


Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections

Alexandria Library
Local History/Special Collections
717 Queen Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314-2420
(703) 838-4577 (voice)
(703) 706-3912 (fax)
Email: lhsc@alexandria.lib.va.us
URL: http://www.alexandria.lib.va.us/branches/lhsc.html

© 2008 Alexandria Library. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Lara Otis

Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections
African American Community Photographs Collection ca. 1861-1990s
Physical Characteristics
3 volumes
Shelved with the bound photocopy inventories of photographs collections

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

African American Community Photographs Collection, Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections, Alexandria, Va.

Acquisition Information

This is an artificial collection, created with photocopies from 23 existing photographs collections at the Alexandria Library Special Collections.

Scope and Content

This artificial collection consists of photocopies of 565 photographs, assembled from 23 existing photograph collections at the Alexandria Library and depicting African Americans or buildings and neighborhoods known to be associated with the African American community in Alexandria, Virginia. The collection includes formal and informal individual portraits and group photographs; photographs of building exteriors or interiors including churches, schools, residences, and the Civil War-era slave pen and jail; streetscapes; and images of sites associated with African Americans in the city. The bulk of the photographs date from the mid- to late twentieth century, and many of the individuals are identified. All photographs are 8 x 10" or smaller, and the vast majority are black and white.


Arrangement is by thematic series, and alphabetical within series as follows:

Series 1: Businesses and Homes
Series 2: Churches
Series 3: Community Life
Series 4: Neighborhoods
Series 5: People - Individual
Series 6: Schools
Series 7: Sites
Series 8: Slavery
Series 9: Working Life

Index Terms

  • African American churches
  • African American history
  • Alexandria (Va.) - History
  • Schools - Virginia
  • Slavery - United States

Adjunct Descriptive Data

Other Finding Aid

A Microsoft Access database detailing each photograph in the collection with a short description, any notes from the verso, any name identifications found, and the location number for the original photograph is found at the Special Collections reference desk.

Other Finding Aid

A Microsoft Access database detailing each photograph in the collection with a short description, any notes from the verso, any name identifications found, and the location number for the original photograph is found at the Special Collections reference desk.

Contents List

Businesses and Homes.

Exterior photographs of Alexandria buildings known to have been inhabited by or owned by African Americans. 12 photographs, 1936-2005.

  • Businesses and Homes. 1, Volume

Interior and exterior photographs of African-American churches in Alexandria, as well as photographs of ministers, choirs, and congregations. Also photographs of Martin Luther King celebrations at several churches. 46 photographs, 1923 - 1989.

  • Alfred Street Baptist. 1, Volume
  • Alleyne AME Zion. 1, Volume
  • Bethlehem Baptist. 1, Volume
  • Beulah Baptist. 1, Volume
  • Community United Presbyterian. 1, Volume
  • Ebenezer Baptist. 1, Volume
  • Roberts Chapel/Roberts Memorial United Methodist. 1, Volume
  • St. Paul Baptist. 1, Volume
  • Shiloh Baptist. 1, Volume
  • Third Baptist. 1, Volume
  • Trinity Methodist. 1, Volume
  • Trinity United Methodist. 1, Volume
  • Trinity ME. 1, Volume
  • United Methodist. 1, Volume
  • Zion Baptist. 1, Volume
Community Life.

Photographs taken at a variety of events and organizations: includes fraternal organizations, Boy Scouts, Robert Robinson Library, the Departmental Progressive Club, and Hopkins House. Numerous photographs of awards ceremonies; some are unidentified. Also includes entertainment, leisure activities, festivals, sports, and some street scenes including children at water pumps. Also includes a series of photographs of a Quander family reunion. 108 photographs, 1870 - 1995.

  • Events and Awards - Identified. 1, Volume
  • Festivals and Parades. 1, Volume
  • Leisure, pre-1920s. 1, Volume
  • Leisure, 1920s-1990s. 1, Volume
  • Sports. 1, Volume
  • Organizations - Alexandria Lodge No. 48. 1, Volume
  • Organizations - Boy Scout Troop #575. 1, Volume
  • Organizations - Chamber of Commerce. 1, Volume
  • Organizations - Departmental Progressive Club. 1, Volume
  • Organizations - Hopkins House. 1, Volume
  • Organizations - Libraries. 1, Volume
  • Organizations - Operations Food Volunteers. 1, Volume

Streetscapes located in current or former African-American neighborhoods in Alexandria. Note that the photographs do not always date to the time during which the neighborhood was actively associated with African-Americans. 117 photographs, 1890 - 1980s.

  • Berg. 2, Volume
  • Bottoms/Dip. 2, Volume
  • Hayti. 2, Volume
  • Hill. 2, Volume
  • Hump. 2, Volume
  • Macedonia. 2, Volume
  • Uptown. 2, Volume
People - Individual.

Formal and informal portraits of individuals. Subjects are often photographed at work in city departments. Additional photographs of unidentified people at work and police or emergency professionals in uniform are in Series 9: Working Life. Photographs of ministers or those closely associated with churches are found in Series 2: Churches. 183 photographs, 1900 - 1999.

  • People - Individual; A to M. 3, Volume

    Adkins, T.; Allen, Robert; Anderson, Roger; Badic, John; Bailey, Leslie; Bailey, Latreace; Bailey, Pearl; Belafonte, Harry; Banks, Ernie; Barry, Marion; Berry, Paul; Boggan, Doris; Bonds, Johnnie May (and family); Boyd, Rose; Bratton, Earnest "Dr. Buzzard"; Brookes, Joseph; Brown, Margaret; Brown, Rena; Butler, Charlie; Calloway, Leonard; Carleton, Emmitt; Carter, Otis, Sr.; Carter, Louis; Carter, Terry; Chatman, James; Chisholm, Shirley; Cleveland, William (Bill); Coard, Gail; Crawford, Willy; Cross, Hayward; Current(?), Angella; Daly, Calvin, Jr.; Day, Lawrence; Day, Helen; Dawkins, Nolan; Diggins, Michael; Dumas, George; Duncan, John; Durant, Oswald, Dr.; Dynanic(?), Emma Reeder; Ellerbe, Zack, Jr.; Euille, William B.; Evans, Andrew; Faison, Herbert; Faulkner, Eunice; Fell, Tracy; Fields, Shay; Floyd, Jeremiah, Dr.; Fountain, Lynne; Freeman, Leslie L.; Funn, Carlton; Gee, Tony; Gilliam, Bernice; Gilmer, Anne; Gray, Harvey; Gray, Lee; Green, Madelaine; Greene, Cecil; Greene, Nelson B.; Green, Rodelyn; Greene, Vanessa K.; Gregg, Cleveland; Griffin, Mitch; Grigg, Allen; Hampton, Trevor; Harsley, Raleigh; Harris, Melvin; Hawkins, Robert; Hawkins, Josephine; Hayes, Donald; Hendrick, Kim; Henry, Albert, Rev.; Hope, Lionel; Horton, Ervin; Hough, C.W.; Howard, Henry; Jackson, Charles; Jackson, Jesse, Rev.; Jennings, Jesse; Johnson, George; Johnson, Jerry; Johnson, Marion; Jordan, Thomas, Jr.; Joyner, Michael; Kye, Floyd; Lambert, George; Lender, James; Lewis, Bessie; Lewis, Theodore; Lyles, Eudora; Mackley, Aaron; Mason, Jackson; Mason, Steve; McDuffie, David; McInnis, Lyles; McKinney, Aaron W.; Medley, Billy L., Jr.; Boston, Stephanie; Miller, A. Melvin; Mitchell, Henry; Montero, Steve; Moore, Jacqueline; Morgan, Alice P.; Morton, Mae Taylor; Murphy, Luther.

  • People - Individual; N to Z. 3, Volume

    Nesbitt, Eugene; Nesbitt, Garwin(?); Poole, Richard; Pope, George; Proctor, Dr. Samuel DeWitt; Proctor, Wells; Quander, Nellie; Ramseur, Harvey; Reeder, Emma; Render, Frank W.; Robbins, Gwen, Lt.; Robinson, John; Robinson, Thomas A., Rev.; Rolark, Wilhelmina J.; Rose, Annie; Tuncil, Gladys; Roseboro, William; Tucker, Samuel W.; Ross, Katrina; Rucker, Rob F.; Saunders, Cresoda; Scott, Herman, Rev.; Sims, Linda; Springs, Herman; Spruell, Essie Mae Redding; Stephens, Sonja; Stephens, Mary; Steward, Dianettea; Stone, Henrietta I.; Strange, John E.; Strickland, Dan; T, Mr.; Taylor, Stanley E.; Temple, David; Terrell, Beatrice M.; Thomas, David; Thompson, Eugene; Toatley, Olivia; Truesdale, William Gene; Tucker, Samuel Wilbert; Tyler, Shirley; Vinson, Ve; Walden, Steve; Webber, George T.; Wilder, Douglas; Williams, Cynthia; Williams, Walter; Wilson, James; Wise, Pam; Wood, James.


Photographs of African American school buildings, schoolteachers, administrators, and students. Also includes some sports teams. Includes the following schools: Charles Houston; Cora Kelly; Hallowell; Jefferson-Houston Elementary; Mount Vernon Elementary; Mount Vernon High; Parker-Gray Middle; Parker-Gray High; Snowden; T.C. Williams High. 34 photographs, 1920 - 1990.

  • John Adams. 2, Volume
  • Hallowell. 2, Volume
  • Hammond. 2, Volume
  • Jefferson-Houston. 2, Volume
  • Cora Kelly. 2, Volume
  • Mount Vernon. 2, Volume
  • Parker-Gray. 2, Volume
  • Snowden. 2, Volume
  • T.C. Williams. 2, Volume

Sites or structures associated with African-Americans in Alexandria. Includes cemeteries and boundary stone. 6 photographs, 19th century - 1984.

  • Sites. 2, Volume

Exteriors and some interiors of buildings associated with slavery and the slave trade in Alexandria. Also included are buildings known to have been constructed using slave labor. 24 photographs, 1865 - 1987.

  • Slavery. 2, Volume
Working Life.

Individuals and groups at work. Includes several formally posed images of African American women with white families or children. Some street scenes and individuals with wagons or automobiles. Police and emergency professionals in uniform. Includes a small number of images of unidentified late twentieth century office workers; similar photographs in which workers are identified are found in Series 5: People - Individual. 35 photographs, 1864 - late 20th century.

  • Working Life. 2, Volume