“Double Exposure” offers a rare and intimate look at Minnesota's African-American community in postwar America through the lens of a pioneering black photographer.

After serving in World War II, John Glanton returned home to Minnesota and began taking his camera around the streets, parks, clubs, restaurants and private homes of Minneapolis, capturing the sights and scenes of everyday life for African-Americans in the city. The images from intimate portraits to public gatherings reveal a dynamic and diverse community at a time when the nation was entering the postwar boom but before the Civil Rights Movement had taken root. 

Glanton’s photos offer a rare look into the lives and lifestyles of families and individuals often left out of histories of Minnesota’s past, showing people at work and play, young and old, happy and sad. The images highlight Black-owned businesses of the day, the music and club scene, and weddings and other family occasions to depict the experiences of African-American people as presented through the lens of an African-American photographer.

Long forgotten in the garage of a family member, the photo negatives were recently rediscovered and digitized. A selection of 200 of the more than 800 images are featured in the book, along with commentary that further illuminates the lives and experiences of African-Americans in postwar Minnesota.

“‘Double Exposure’ is a wonderful collection of images by John Glanton that illuminate the often-hidden history of the African-American in Minnesota. These photographs capture the rhythm and the tone of the Black presence during the 1940s and 1950s and allow us to see a world where family and friends were the glue holding the thriving community together. This collection is a treasure to be savored and enjoyed,” said Lonnie Bunch, founding director, National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“Double Exposure” is available come October from the Minnesota Historical Society Press. The hardcover book retails for $29.95. a launch takes place Oct. 6 from 2 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Minneapolis Central Library, Doty Room, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

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