Black Victorians

Patrick Vernon discusses depictions of Blacks in Victorian art and popular culture, and introduces a new exhibition on the subject, opening in Manchester.

History has a habit of repeating itself and reinventing cultural and historical experiences. The history of African people and the diaspora living in Europe, North America, the Caribbean and South America is no exception. The new exhibition ‘Black Victorians: Black People in British Art 1800-1900’ organized jointly by the Manchester Art Gallery (where it opens on October 1st) and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (where it transfers in January 2006), is a wide-ranging and comprehensive exploration highlighting both positive and negative aspects of the depiction of black people in the nineteenth century.

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