California Revealed is supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.
Black and white negative of eight people at table with birthday cake in center. The photograph was taken by Ellis Bayles Myers, who was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana on December 5th, 1916. Growing up, Myers quit school after the fifth grade in order to help support his family. In 1943, he was drafted into a segregated regiment of the Marine Corps. It was during his time overseas Myers met a black photographer who inspired him to pursue photography.
In 1946, Myers moved to Richmond California to explore a new kind of freedom. California offered more opportunities than the segregated south and allowed Myers to establish his photography business. "In your home, at your convenience" was the motto for Ellis Myers photography business. The success of his photography business allowed Myers to move to Parchester Village, which allowed him a permanent darkroom in his garage. Although the photo business was financially succesSan Franciscoul and personally satiSan Franciscoying, Myers abandoned his business around 1960 with the introduction of color photography.
The Myers collection is significant because it includes a high quantity of images portraying the postwar African-Americans community enjoying a middle-class lifestyle in Richmond, California. African-Americans in the post war period (1946-1960) faced a range of systemic inequalities that provided inequal distribution of resources. The collection includes a variety of types of images including community social events, nightlife, family events, church events and formal portraits. The images show, that despite the systemic inequalities, the postwar African American community in Richmond fully participated in the local economy, leisure events, social clubs, religious activities and politics.
Richmond Museum of History
400 Nevin Avenue
Richmond, CA 94801
United States, (510) 235-7387, (510) 235-7387, https://richmondmuseum.org
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