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Happy Book Anniversary! Celebrating One Year of Unsung Portraits & Future Titles

Tanzy Ward

On February 14th, 2021, I published my second book: ''Unsung Portraits: Anonymous Images of Black Victorians and Early 20th Century Ancestors''.  The book emphasizes the accurate and non-distorted images of Black Victorians, the complete opposite of what has been portrayed in Black Americana memorabilia. For centuries, hateful stereotypes of Black Victorians have dominated the poster-child image of Black Americana. However, the negative caricatures that are emphasized are not an accurate representation. Unsung Portraits celebrates beautiful pictures of Black Victorians. Their grace, dignity, pride, and impeccable style are reflected in the images and part of their important stories. 
We are celebrating the first anniversary of Unsung Portraits, published last February in 2021. The book, Hidden Legacies: African Presence in European Antiques can be purchased at Zanathia Jewelry in the Tanzy Ward Books section.


Every photo in Unsung Portraits is from my personal collection of antique photographs. I am thankful to have the opportunity to honor their stories and preserve the legacies that have not received significant acclaim or acknowledgment. I am grateful to all of the supporters and those who've shown interest in the book. At the end of the year, I was thankful to have been included on Contingent Magazine's 2022 Booklist, which honors books released by historians in 2022. I must consist of the images of Black Victorians with my antique jewelry and assist in preserving the magnificent materials they left behind with us. I focus on the preservation and education of antique jewelry and photographs, emphasizing Black Victorians. Their stories and legacies are a significant part of the 19th-century and Victorian Era progression. I am excited to preserve their heirlooms and precious photographs. Unsung Portraits was the beginning of my work that focuses on updating the narrative of Black Americana and the images we think of when reflecting on this particular historical memorabilia. 
I am honored to be selected and included in Contingent Magazine's 2022 Book List. Unsung Portraits has been a significant project, and I will continue to focus on updating the narrative of Black Americana.
The theme song for Unsung Portraits: Anonymous Images of Black Victorians and Early 20th Century Ancestors is Nina Simone's 'Color is A Beautiful Thing' song. When I look at the extraordinary images of Black Victorian ancestors, I am compelled by their dignity and poise during a time of hateful images used to represent them. Although their stories were unsung, I will continue to uplift them in my work and continue the important legacy of being a gatekeeper and preservationist of the historical materials left with us. 
 My collection of antique photographs from the 19th and early 20th Centuries. All are featured in the Unsung Portraits book.

Beautiful portraits of dapper Victorian Black ladies, part of Tanzy Ward's collection and featured in the Unsung Portraits Book

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