Black Memorabilia

Memorabilia are items that had a function. People may choose to keep the things as a remembrance or for their future value. Also, memorabilia solidify a perception of an event or a person, which could be positive or harmful. White memorabilia breaks down into ethnic groups, such as Italian, Irish, or Polish ancestry. Black memorabilia refer to items that focused on people of color, or people of African descent.   

Black memorabilia can be anything from paper items, such as pamphlets and programs. The category also includes items used regularly, like cookie jars, shakers, and towels.  Souvenir and keepsake items that depict people contribute to this category.

Jan Lindenberger, a renowned expert and author on Black Memorabilia, explained in her book Black Memorabilia Around the House a Handbook & Price Guide the different definitions of Black memorabilia. Lindenberger wrote, “To some, it is anything associated with the black people, from derogatory items to souvenirs to fine art. To others, it is folk art made by black people. For others, it’s comprised of salve documents to shackles or anything related to the slave era. For me, it is all of this combined”(p.6).

We here at Antique Back Dolls & Things agree with Lindenberger’s understanding of Black Memorabilia. Our website attempts to separate memorabilia into traditional categories, such as dolls, art, and memorabilia. But we recognize some things are uniquely significant to the experiences of people of color and alien to the European mindset. We are posting authentic historical or current items with researchers, collectors, and you in mind. Please share your thoughts on anything we posts.

Bev Flowers  


Lindenberger, J. (1993). Black Memorabilia Around the House: a Handbook & Price Guide. Atglen, PA. Schiffer Publishing LTD.

Photo by b. Flowers

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