These Rare Photos Offer A Glimpse Into The Daily Lives Of African Americans In The Early 1900s

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Image: John Johnson via Douglas Keister

In an amateur darkroom underneath his parents’ house, teenager Doug Keister eagerly develops his first ever prints. The old negatives reveal a striking snapshot of another time and place, depicting proud African Americans at a time of oppression. Now, more than 30 years later, Keister will finally realize just how important his finds really are.

Image: John Johnson via Douglas Keister

Back in 1965, 17-year-old Keister was living in Lincoln, Nebraska. A keen student of photography, he was searching for a way to practice developing prints. Luckily, his friend had just acquired some interesting negatives via a newspaper advertisement.

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Image: John Johnson via Douglas Keister

Wanting to support Keister’s desire to learn photography, his friend then agreed to sell him the prints. Keister bought them for $15 – an amount equivalent to $115 in today’s money. In fact, it was such a hefty investment for Keister that the teenager could only afford to pay it back in instalments.

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