Pictured above is the Higdon family. This photograph was taken in the year 1898 in Britain. That is all we know about them.
Who were the Black Victorians? Mainstream history has virtually erased them from our minds and history books. We have been filled with images of slavery in America and across the world, but why is it that this chapter in black history was skipped? Why isn’t it equally common knowledge that in the midst of all of that darkness there was light, also.
Never before seen photos were uncovered, giving us over 200 images of glances into our past. Many of the photos did not include names or any details whatsoever, cloaking these people in mystery for all of time.
At one point in history, people of color were included in high society and walked the cobbled streets of Britain. The women wore intricate, voluminous gowns and wore their hair in curls and chignons. The men in suits and fair business. This may not have been the case for all black people in Britain, but for some it was.
The Victorian Era was ruled under Queen Victoria, an era that is described as an opulent culture, although there were underlying bouts of poverty and child labor. History would like you to believe that black people didn’t arrive in Britain until 1948 during “The Empire Windrush”, when many Jamaican descendants entered the country, but that is not so. There has been proof to suggest otherwise. There is documentation that proves that it wasn’t uncommon to see black faces at a Shakespeare show. We’ve been there all along, humming softly in the background.
These images prove that you can’t take mainstream history at face value. Take the time to look behind the curtain and uncover OUR history. It’s as if our ancestors are just waiting for us to seek them out.
Who were the Black Victorians?
To see more of these images check out this video reel.