To create the book Henry's Freedom Box, illustrator Kadir Nelson had to find images of urban slaves, free African-Americans, townspeople, wagons, horses, etc. Since this is a true story set in a real place, he had to find photographs of each setting to make sure the images were authentic. Since Henry worked in a factory, he had to find some photographs of factory workers and farm workers on tobacco plantations.
In this slideshow, you can see the primary source photographs Kadir Nelson used for his research. You'll also find a few sketches of his artwork to give you a sense of how each image looked in the early stages.