African American images part of Emory collection
Photos of Mamie Smith and Her Jazz Hounds in 1920s New York City (top) and a shot of Benjamin “Pap” Singleton from 1895 are part of a rare collection of more than 10,000 photographs at Emory University in Atlanta depicting African-American life from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Smith was the first African American to record vocal blues songs in the 1920s and Singleton was a pioneer of black nationalism and helped launch one of the first back-to-Africa movements. The university recently acquired the collection from Robert Langmuir of Philadelphia. It includes both ordinary and well-known people from the 1840s—the beginning of photography—to the 1970s, with many shots taken by African-American photographers.