One Last Photo Before You Lapse Into a Turkey Daze

Via the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture, here’s a family settling into Thanksgiving dinner in 1950.


The photo was the work of Scurlock Studios. Founded by Addison Scurlock at the turn of the century and eventually run by his sons, the company served Washington D.C.’s African American middle class, as well as shooting famous faces like Ella Fitzgerald, W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. explained the studio’s significance in 2010:

A Scurlock camera was “present at almost every significant event in the African-American community,” recalls former D.C. Councilwoman Charlene Drew Jarvis, whose father, Howard University physician Charles Drew, was a Scurlock subject many times. Dashing all over town—to baptisms and weddings, to balls and cotillions, to high-school graduations and to countless events at Howard, where he was the official photographer—Addison Scurlock became black Washington’s “photographic Boswell—the keeper of the visual memory of the community in all its quotidian ordinariness and occasional flashes of grandeur and moment,” says Jeffrey Fearing, a historian who is also a Scurlock relative.


The Scurlocks eventually donated the studio’s massive archives to the Smithsonian. You can browse it here.

Contact the author at

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



Is that the dreaded cranberry sauce molded in the can? Aww yeah, this family and my family would get along.