All posts tagged: historical memory of slavery

Photographs by Ernest Cole: Black History in a Swedish Bank Vault

Photographs by Ernest Cole: Black History in a Swedish Bank Vault

[ad_1] Ernest Cole, Untitled, 1967–72, from “Ernest Cole: The True America” (Aperture, 2024). © 2024 Ernest Cole Family Trust. A lost trove of photographs from the 1960s and ’70s offers new perspectives on the past—and the present. By Vann R. Newkirk II Photographs by Ernest Cole February 1, 2024, 7 AM ET Ernest Cole was born in 1940 to a Black family in the Eersterust township, near Pretoria, South Africa. As a child, he witnessed the formalization of the apartheid regime. When he was a teenager, he began working for Drum, a South African magazine geared toward Black readers. He later changed the spelling of his surname from Kole to Cole, which—along with straightening his hair—helped reclassify him as “Coloured,” a formal designation that gave him more freedom of movement in the country’s calcifying racial hierarchy. He became one of South Africa’s first Black freelance photographers, earning the ire of apartheid enforcers by capturing the human costs of the regime. But Cole wanted to have a wider reach, and in 1966, he arrived in the …