Reflections in Black and White

Exhibit on View: June 20, 2023 through January 21, 2024

Revisit our 2015 exhibit, Reflections in Black and White. Explore everyday life for Black and white Wilmingtonians in the Jim Crow era through a selection of period photographs. It draws on four large collections:

  • African American photographer Herbert Howard was a postal worker, a member of the NAACP, and a semi professional photographer. Cape Fear Museum was lucky enough to collect more than 1,000 images he took of the black community. 
  • Local artist Claude Howell left an extensive collection of scrapbooks to the Museum. These 3 ring binders include hundreds of pages with photographs of Claude’s friends, local scenery, and people that he used as inspiration for his artwork. 
  • Student nurse Elizabeth Ashworth attended the James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing right after World War II. Her photographs provide a glimpse of a group of young white women’s lives in the late 1940s. 
  • The Camera Shop, located on Front and Grace streets, was in business from the late 1910s through the early 1980s. The Museum’s collection includes a series of images from the late 1950s and early 1960s that patrons did not retrieve from the shop.     

As they explore the imagery, visitors are asked to reflect on what they see, and consider the ways legally sanctioned racial segregation shaped our community in large and small ways.

Black and White images from Reflections exhibit