This essay examines African American artists’ and writers’ engagement with the visual aesthetics of panoramas. Panoramas traditionally relied on an imperialist and pedagogical methodology. Yet panoramas have played a key role in African American political and artistic projects from the nineteenth century to today. The counteraesthetic strategies employed by J. P. Ball’s 1855 abolitionist panorama as well as contemporary artist Kara Walker’s panoramic silhouettes provide an important context for reconsidering the spatial and temporal revisions in Frederick Douglass’s second autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom. This essay engages with the pressing scholarly project of charting a nineteenth-century African American aesthetic.