Black Power, 19th-Century Style

The black man in this Belgian sculpture is empowered -- the antithesis of a slave.

Victor Van Hove, Vengeance; before 1859. Painted plaster, 71 by 225 cm. Ronse, Town Hall (on loan from Brussels)

The Image of the Black in Western Art Archive resides at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. The director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute is Henry Louis Gates Jr., who is also The Root’s editor-in-chief. The archive and Harvard University Press collaborated to create The Image of the Black in Western Art book series, eight volumes of which were edited by Gates and David Bindman and published by Harvard University Press. Text for each Image of the Week is written by Sheldon Cheek.