Meta Warrick's 1907 'Negro Tableaux' and (Re)Presenting African American Historial Memory, by W. Fitzhugh Brundage


As the twentieth century began, African American artists and intellectuals struggled with the challenge of how to portray black life in the United States without giving in to either sentimentality or racial stereotypes. W. Fitzhugh Brundage, in our featured article, looks at how one black sculptor, Meta Warrick, took on this challenge by creating a set of historical tableaux for the Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition in 1907. In this installment of "Teaching the JAH," Brundage uses the range of Warrick's dioramas to suggest how her creative impulse drew from a tradition of black life-studies but went beyond them to how why historical change mattered in understanding African American experience.

Sections Guide

You may use the "Sections" menu on the right to navigate through this installment. Provided below is a summary of each section in this installment.


The full-text of the article as it appeared in the March 2003 issue of the Journal of American History

Teaching the Article

The author's comments about using his article in the classroom

Primary Sources

A set of primary source documents and images selected for use in teaching this article

Further Reading

A bibliography of related secondary sources recommended by the author


A list of links to related Web sites