Tignons were headwraps worn by free and enslaved women of color in southern Louisiana. Figas are used to ward off bad energy. She was styled in what appears to be a colored and corseted satin gown. Ayda Weddo is a Voodoo deity of fertility, rainbows, wind, water, fire, and snakes. The fourth, a dark-skinned woman of African descent, stands out from the others for more reasons than the color of her skin.
Kinley. Age: 31.
Augusta Savage is one of the most important artists of the Harlem Renaissance, but is not well known today despite her recent retrospective at the New-York Historical Society.
Angelina. Age: 25.
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As this image illustrates, Paris — as well as Bordeaux, Nantes, and other French port cities — historically had and currently have substantial black populations. The enslaved woman is more modestly, if still lavishly, bedecked, yet is depicted barefoot—an almost universal sign of enslaved status. This photograph by Albert Brichaut depicts four prostitutes languorously lounging in a Parisian brothel.