My last few blogs have been heavy on text, so I thought I would do something different for the next two weeks. Today I'm going to share some of the photographs I consult while writing Half-Truths. Next week, you'll meet a few of my experts--from "back in the day," and now.
With the help of Pinterest and The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, these images help me create the story of Lillie Harris, my light-skinned African American protagonist who lives in Charlotte, NC in 1950.
Johnson C Smith University
African American Album
Rose Morgan - Founder of Rose Meta House of Beauty, one of the largest and most visible African American beauty salons in the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s. From Ideas to Independence: A Century of Entrepreneurial Women | NWHM. entrepreuners.nwhm.org
Pinned from Etsy, this is my model for Lillie's little sister, Gloria.
The Tate Family, 1910
A prominent Charlotte African American Family
Several of Thaddeus' Tate daughters
passed for white.
"The Tate family lived in this elegant home at 504 East 7th Street. Thaddeus Tate opened a barber shop in 1882 which prospered for over sixty years. He co-founded several of Charlotte's leading black businesses, including the Afro-American Mutual Insurance Company and the Mecklenburg Investment Company." http://www.cmstory.org/african/album/volume1/010.jpg
Second Ward High School
served black students from 1923-1969.
It was torn down when busing began.
|Second Ward cheerleaders, 1940|
A view of homes along East 8th Street in Brooklyn. Area was demolished during urban renewal in the 1960's-1970's. Photo courtesy of Second Ward Alumni Association.
Bertha Pinckenpack in front of her house on Alexander Street
with her great-granddaughters,
Geraldine and Beverly, c. 1950.
Bishop Daddy Grace
was the leader of the United House Of Prayer For All People,
a Pentecostal denomination that met in the Brooklyn neighborhood.
I study pictures like these for all types of information: people Lillie might have heard about or met; hair, clothing, and shoe styles; neighborhoods she would have walked through; what her school looked like. I never know which image might provide an interesting detail that will inform my work.
How about you? What resources do you use when researching a book?