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In the last decades of the 19th Century, white Southern society began to pass laws to reverse the gains African Americans made during Reconstruction. By 1900, the Age of Jim Crow (legal segregation) was in full swing. Yet as these images taken by Tallahassee photographer Alvan S. Harper reveal, many African Americans were able to prosper despite the social and legal restrictions they faced. Although unidentified today, these images represent the teachers, business owners, and local leaders of Tallahassee's vibrant African American community.

Young African American woman wearing a white dress

Young African American woman wearing a white dress

Image Number: HA00883

Young woman wearing fancy hat

Young woman wearing fancy hat

Image Number: HA00868

Man in a satin-faced coat, holding a cane

Man in a satin-faced coat, holding a cane

Image Number: HA00969

Woman in dress with embroidered front and cuffs

Woman in dress with embroidered front and cuffs

Image Number: HA00869

Woman in dark dress with roses on bodice

Woman in dark dress with roses on bodice

Image Number: HA00861

Man in white coat, with tilted hat and cane

Man in white coat, with tilted hat and cane

Image Number: HA01113

Woman in embossed dress

Woman in embossed dress

Image Number: HA00858

Woman in striped dress holding handkerchief

Woman in striped dress holding handkerchief

Image Number: HA00857

Young man

Young man

Image Number: HA00965

Girl holding a fan standing behind a gate

Girl holding a fan standing behind a gate

Image Number: HA01206

Woman holding parasol

Woman holding parasol

Image Number: HA00859