Photo of the Week: Summit Avenue Ensemble, Atlanta, Georgia

Summit Avenue Ensemble

Photographer Thomas E. Askew took this photo of six musicians with their instruments in his home studio on Summit Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia. The Library of Congress has identified the sitters from left: the photographer’s twin sons Clarence and Norman Askew, son Arthur Askew, neighbor Jake Sansome, and sons Robert and Walter Askew.

This image is part of a Library of Congress Collection, African American Photographs Assembled for the 1900 Paris Exhibition, now fully searchable in NINES. Many of these images were gathered into volumes by W.E.B. Du Bois depicting “Negro Life in Georgia, U.S.A.,” providing a glimpse into the homes, the churches and daily lives of African Americans at the turn of the twentieth century.

Click here to browse this set in NINES, and remember: the NINES Exhibit Builder is available for use in the classroom as well as for original scholarship. Here’s a handy guide to using our authoring tool!

3 responses to “Photo of the Week: Summit Avenue Ensemble, Atlanta, Georgia”

  1. Al-Tony Gilmore

    The fair complexioned fellow in the center of the photo, Jake Sansome, is actually Joseph Sansom, my wife’s grandfather. His son—my late father in law –Joseph J. Sansom was raised on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, and was a Graduate of Morehouse, and ultimately became President of Mechanics and Farmers Bank in North Carolina. His father— listed in the photo as “Jake” Sansome — was a well known florist on Auburn Avenue in the period 1920 -1960.

    Yes, he was African- American during a period when forced “out of wedlock” race mixture was so common, that blacks of his complexion existed in every southern community —many no more than one generation removed from their white fathers. Neither Jake Sansom or his son ever considered “passin,” and both identified with blacks, and lived throughout their lives in black communities fighting for black causes.

    I am a historian.

    Al-Tony Gilmore

  2. Moses Phillips

    Was The Summit Avenue Ensemble the name of the group? I’m an ethnomusicologist writing about this demographic and its history.

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