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Explore the Constellation

Resting on the Porch



Porches are places to rest, connect, and watch life unfold.

Scholar Mabel O. Wilson describes porches as spaces that connect inside and outside worlds. In the early 1800s, Black builders began adding porches to Southern shotgun houses. By the 1900s, porches had become social spaces where people brought out rocking chairs to “watch the panorama of daily life unfold.” The museum’s photographic collection includes many images of African Americans on porches, including Odessa Johnson, pictured here, resting and posing between two worlds.