Group Portrait, Jones Valley Lodge #14

In this black and white group portrait men are arranged in two rows, sitting and standing in a room. Two men in the center of the front row are holding a painted banner with the words JONES VALLEY LODGE #14. I.B.P.O.ELKS B’HAM ALA. OC HON .J.E. KELLY E.X.R. No date given.

On verso: Mr. C.H. Howard 314 no 14 st city Due 185.

This is one of 156 black and white photographs by R. Lee Thomas, an African American photographer active in the early twentieth century in the southern United States. Thomas’ work provides photographic documentation of southern black social life, primarily religious and labor groups, circa 1946-1949. The majority of the photographs depict groups from Birmingham, Alabama, and adjacent areas. His imprint contains the caption: Made by R. Lee Thomas, Mound Bayou, Mississippi, The Oldest Negro Town in America.