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Centennial Faces, a selection of photographs by Tallahassean Alvan S. Harper, gives us a fresh perspective on the lives of African-American citizens in Tallahassee one hundred years ago. The subjects of Harper's studio portraits suggest the presence of an affluent
middle class within the African-American society of that time. Elaborately beaded dresses, flowered hats, and finely tailored waistcoats reflect the subjects' prosperity. Their faces express dignity and self-reliance. These Tallahasseeans appear far-removed from the hardship and poverty experienced by the majority of African-Americans after the Civil War.
The forty-nine photographs presented in this exhibit are only a fraction of the two thousand glass-plate negatives in the Alvan S. Harper Collection at the Florida Photographic Collection, Florida State Archives.