Photography Exhibition by Haverford College Professor Exposes Obscured, Unacknowledged History of Slave Trade

william earle williams
Image via Haverford College.
William Earle Williams.

A solo photography exhibition by Haverford College professor William Earle Williams exposes the silenced and unacknowledged history of the slave trade, according to a story in Hyperallergic.

A Wicked Commerce: The U.S. and the Atlantic Slave Trade through the Lens of William Earle Williams is currently being hosted by Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.

Through his photographs, the Philadelphia-area photographer looks at the ways in which the transatlantic slave trade and the development and growth of slavery — and its malevolent persistence — intersect within Great Britain, the U.S., and the West Indies.

The pictures showcase the infrastructures that fueled the Atlantic slave trade and helped position both Britain and the U.S. as industrial powers while concurrently creating an institution that irreparably damaged innumerable lives.

The infrastructures that still exist to this day in their physical and social landscapes.

Williams uses his camera as a tool to expose obscured and silenced histories, aiming to transform how some of these everyday places are understood and experienced.

The exhibition is on view at Colgate until May 21.

Read more about the compelling William Earle Williams exhibition in Hyperallergic.


A TED-Ed presentation on the Atlantic slave trade.

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