Young African American Nanny with Caucasian Boy

Young African American Nanny with Caucasian Boy

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A mounted black and white photograph; young African American girl wearing a vertically striped dress, gathered at waist with white bonnet on her head; young white boy wearing light colored top and pants with black hose and black leather boots seated on the arm of a wicker chair holding a rod across his lap, wearing a hat on his head.
From slavery to Jim Crow segregation, African American girls worked in fields and as maids. Girls found themselves serving families and becoming lifelong nursemaids and domestic workers.
Girls as young as three carried heavy babies, scrubbed dirty diapers, and stayed up late to mend clothing.
What would it be like to care for an infant that was also your boss?
Clearly they were workers. The photographs make their work invisible.
Object Name
mounted photograph
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
silver gel (overall material)
gelatin silver print (overall production method/technique)
overall: 26.6 cm x 13.3 cm; 10 15/32 in x 5 1/4 in
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
African American
See more items in
Work and Industry: Photographic History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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