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June 26, 2022

30 Stunning Portraits of Black Women From the Victorian Era

During the Victorian era in England and the United States, aristocratic white women often had a very specific role to play: that of a wife and a mother. But for the small group of Black women who joined the middle or upper class, their role was far more complicated.

In middle-class African American communities, many women were expected to follow the fashion ideals of white society while still maintaining the cultural traditions of Black society. Meanwhile, in England, a few Black women were permitted to enjoy the upper echelons of society — with one even becoming the goddaughter of Queen Victoria herself.

But while these lifestyles seemed quite honorable at the time, they often came with strings attached. And sadly, only a few details are known today about many of these women and their remarkable lives. Take a look at these 30 beautiful, rarely-seen portraits of Black Victorian women below:

(via All That's Interesting)


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