Born in Wilcox County, Alabama, in 1875, Edith Morgan wasn't like most women of the late 19th century. Instead of getting married and starting a family, Edith left her small Southern town behind to attend the Art Institute of Chicago, where she became an artist and photographer.

Years later, she returned to Alabama to photograph the black and white residents of towns like Camden and Gee's Bend. At a time when black children received little to no education, she took it upon herself to teach art, drama and Bible studies to children of all races.

Edith died in 1939, leaving behind albums filled with her black-and-white images. These photos, which were shot on hand-coated glass negatives, have been preserved so future generations can reflect on the past and remember how far we've come.

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FROM: The Dream Lives: A Martin Luther King Day Special
Published on January 01, 2006


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