In one of Gardner Dozois anthologies in the last few years had a short story about an alternate time line where the travelers were surprised to see black people as their reality had none. Can anyone lead me to the title and author?
There is a scene like this in In Another Country, Robert Silverberg's companion piece to C.L. Moore's Vintage Season. There is no explanation as to why the time traveler is surprised; it is only mentioned in passing.
The driver hopped out. He was very big, bigger even than Thimiroi, with immense heavy shoulders and a massive column of a neck. His face was unusual, the lips strongly pronounced, the cheekbones broad and jutting like blades His hair was black and woolly and grew very close to his skull. But the most surprising thing about him was the color of his skin. It was dark brown, almost black: his eyes were bright as beacons against that astonishing chocolate-hued backdrop. Thimiroi had never imagined that anyone might have skin of such a color. Was that what they all were like in the twentieth century? Skin the color of night? No one on Capri had looked like that, or in Canter- bury.
"You the people called for a taxi?” the driver asked. “Here—let me put those suitcases in the trunk "
Perhaps it is a form of ornamentation, Thimiroi thought. They have it artificially done. They think it makes them look more beautiful when they change their skins, when they change their faces, so that they are like this. And it a as beautiful. There was a brooding somber power about this black man's face. He was like something carved from a block of some precious and recalcitrant stone.