A True Likeness: Early Life, and Becoming a Photographer | Carolina Stories - Episode 2


The people in the photos; who were they? Identifying the subjects in the photos would prove to be difficult, since few records were kept of those who were photographed. The Roberts family became a great help in this regard. Whenever a batch of the prints became available, the Roberts family would host a community get-together, with the goal that those in attendance could recognize other family members.

Richard Roberts was the son of a stevedore, working on docks, loading and unloading cargo from ships. As Richard grew older, he started working at the post office, and his schedule enabled him to develop his artistic talent as a photographer. After meeting his wife in Florida, and moving back to Columbia, Richard Roberts made a name for himself as a successful photographer, capturing the spirit, and the African-American lifestyle of the 1920’s.  

Several of Richard Roberts’ children recall their memories of him: Wilhelmina Roberts Wynn, Richard’s daughter, and Cornelius Roberts, Richard’s son. 


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