The Black, White and Shades of Grey in Collecting Black Americana

According to Howard Dodson, director of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, “There are two kinds of collectors of black Americana: those who are interested in collecting as a financial investment and those with a passion for finding ‘the missing pages of history.’”


…There is also some concern that part of the drive in purchasing black Americana is pimpin’ black culture.: that this adoption of old images and negative stereotypes is being glamorized in a perverse way. Like hip-hop’s bad ‘rap’ (pun intended), collecting black Americana is sweeping the nation in a concerning way.


Deanna Dahlsad‘s insight:

As a white chick, I don’t dare collect this stuff — even if I, as a collector of similar negative sterotypical items about women, understand the desire to document the horrible past.

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Deanna is the founder of Inherited Values, among other sites. She is also an antique dealer.