National Geographic : 1988 Jan
xhilarated by emancipation, Afro-Americans began to play a larger role in U. S. life in the 1870s and '80s. George Washington Williams (left), Civil War veteran and Ohio legislator, published his acclaimed History of the Negro Race in America in 1883. In the same year Jan Matzeliger of Lynn, Massachusetts (top right), patented his shoe-lasting machine, which revolutionized shoe manufacture. A decade later Philadelphian Mrs. Nathan Mossell (in locket) published The Work of the Afro-American Woman, focusing on fellow journalists. But reaction set in. Southern states disenfranchised black vot ers. Mobs had lynched hun dreds of blacks by 1894, a sorry chronicle compiled by Ida B. Wells (lower center). Insulting stereotypes appeared in trade cards, newspapers, and sheet music ("black" was then a slur). The great abolitionist Freder ick Douglass (right), U. S. Minis ter to Haiti in 1889, continually spoke for full equality, while Booker T. Washington (center), founder of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, counseled accommodation. Fleeing Southern prejudice, a group of Tennesseans settled in Topeka, Kansas, where in 1893 they founded the city's first black kindergarten (upper left).