This beautiful photograph is from a collection of images that was prepared for the 1900 Paris Exposition. The picture was included in a display devoted to the history and “present conditions” of African Americans.
W.E.B. Du Bois and special agent Thomas J. Calloway spearheaded the planning, collection and installation of the exhibit materials, which included 500 photographs. The Library of Congress holds approximately 220 mounted photographs reportedly displayed in the exhibition. Thankfully, this and other imagescollected by DuBois are available for viewing on-line from the Library of Congress. At the Library itself, the image is part of the Daniel Murray Collection.
Many of the pictures features images from the black middle class community in Atlanta and Georgia. DuBois worked at Atlanta University, a black college formed at the end of the Civil War. DuBois, one of the greatest activists and scholars, used the exhibit to show the culture and progress of the African American community to a world audience.
The title of this image is simply “African American girl, full-length portrait, standing next to chair, facing front.”