Black woman, seated

Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Real photo post card measuring slightly less than 3.5 x 5.5 inches.

What I know about it:

Undated and unidentified, but the paper manufacturer’s markings (AZO, two triangles up and two down) narrow the date range to 1918-1930.


I can be as terrible at guessing a person’s race as I can be at guessing a person’s age.  This photo was sold to me in a large bunch of photos that specifically included pictures of African Americans (or perhaps I should say black people, since it isn’t always clear that they are Americans).  Despite this, it wasn’t until recently that I began to realize that this photo might be one of those pictures of black people, and it wasn’t until I enlarged it and looked at her hair that I felt more certain.  It’s possible that she’s of mixed-race ancestry, and it’s also possible that I’m completely off base to begin with.  Normally I would say it doesn’t matter, that this is just a lovely portrait of a beautiful woman (which it is).  But sadly, to this woman in that time period, the question of her race may have mattered a great deal.

4 comments on “Black woman, seated”

  1. Off-topic: I’d put this in the early 1920’s, judging by the clothes and hairdo.

    • Oh, there’s no need to stick to any particular topic, but I actually think the general era applies here somewhat. Thanks for the input, I was guessing something similar.

  2. When I read the title, I thought you’d mistyped because at a glance she didn’t appear black and was only wearing a black dress…on closer look I see she does have that quality even if her skin is very pale.

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