Thursday, November 6, 2008

Black Woman

This picture was taken in 1899 and shows a young black woman. The woman in dressed in nice clothes which was somewhat uncharacteristic of African Americans at this period in time. She appears more affluent than what was typical. I don't have any other information about her or her family, so her story is unknown.


  1. That's so interesting--isn't she the same woman from your February 14th entry?

  2. Back when I was a young girl, a traveling photographer came to our home, set up a backdrop, and had an array of clothing that could be worn for the picture. He carried a box of fine clothes and hats from which to choose. He also had a fancy wicker chair and all the props to make a fine portrait. Could be the same with this lovely lady.

  3. Do you not know that African Americans did wear nice clothing before 1899, throughout the 1900's? Why would you think that this is uncharacteristic?

    When you speak of one's character, you are speaking of who a person is, and you are speaking on behalf of the African American People and their Culture. How can someone that is not of the Black Race speak on behalf of us? I feel that your remark is condescending and not too bright, and I am positive that you are not aware of it.

    The history that I know, is that African Americans in these years were skilled in sewing and making their own attire. I have a history of my ancestors sewing for well-to-do whites and people of our own race. We had to do our own designing of our clothing as I am sure you are aware of the racism of America and the scarcity of stores that we could shop in, try on clothing and purchase what we liked.

    Do you not know of our deep spiritual tradition and our traditions of dressing to the 9's for Church? Most Black's regardless of economic standing had at least one nice church outfit and many of the women wore hats to church.

    I say all this because I appreciate you posting orphan photos and other photos that would be of interest to all people...I just want you to be aware of how you narrate to us about the characteristics of a group of people. Some people will take this myth and run with it, like when they used to say we had tails.

  4. Thank you so much Yvette! Well said! I've had the gift of inheriting family images as far back as early 1900 and my Ancestors were all finely dressed and presented. There is no broad-stroke that can be applied to the African-American community -- not then or now. Again, thank you!:)