Songs Without Words

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On the eve of local elections in 1895, the Indianapolis Freeman printed a previously-published drawing by the late political cartoonist Henry J. Lewis, entited "A Song Without Words." The drawing used inserts within the larger frame to tell the story…

As editor, George L. Knox re-printed a drawing by the late political cartoonist Henry J. Lewis in the formerly independent Indianapolis Freeman to chide the National Negro Democratic Convention meeting in that city in August 1894. "Gentlemen," reads…

In its election-eve issue in 1892, perhaps to encourage the exodus that Ida B. Wells’s campaign had begun, the Indianapolis Freeman re-printed a drawing by the late political cartoonist, Henry J. Lewis. A series of frames reminded readers that…

In June 1892, the Indianapolis Freeman re-printed an earlier visual compilation of civil rights themes drawn by the late political cartoonist Henry J. Lewis. The small cartoon laments the need for combative imagery in the black press, but explains…

When Frederick Douglass warned whites of the dangers of “reaping the whirlwind,” the Indianapolis Freeman recycled an oft-used drawing by the late political cartoonist, Henry J. Lewis, showing a sleeping African American Gulliver, a…

This drawing in the Indianapolis Freeman shows Uncle Sam standing impotently before a robed figure, Ethiopia, as she gestures toward the shooting of innocent African American men and women, and a burning church. “See how my people are murdered,…

Henry J. Lewis was born in slavery in Mississippi, sometime in the late 1830s (the exact year of his birth is unknown). He was severely burned as a child, which left him blind in one eye and crippled in his left hand. He lived much of his life in…
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