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The 1900 Paris Exposition
I have included links to several sites with material from the "Exhibit of American Negroes," which W.E.B. Du Bois helped to organize for the l'Exposition Universelle de 1900.

On this web page you will find sections with links to:
Primary Sources, including texts and image files that are Internet-accessible;
Contemporary Secondary Sources from DuBois's time that discuss the exhibit;
Later Secondary Sources that examine the 1900 exhibit in Paris and its significance;
Related Sources that pertain to the 1900 Paris Exposition and its intellectual context;
Sources on Paris that relate to the city and the context of the 1900 Exposition (but may not specifically mention Du Bois or the Exhibit of American Negroes); and
the 1901 Pan American Exposition (Buffalo, NY), which included the Exhibit of American Negroes originally displayed in Paris.
Robert W. Williams, Ph.D.  [Bio]

LATEST LINKS (For 1 April 2021)
Later Secondary Source
Posted below is an external link to "W.E.B. Du Bois in Paris: The Exhibi­tion That Shattered Myths About Black America: On the Aesthetics of Research". It was written by Jacqueline Francis and Stephen G. Hall.

"The American Negro at Paris." 1900. Du Bois' article on the 1900 Paris Exposition (l'Exposition Universelle de 1900). (Citation: The American Monthly Review of Reviews, vol. XXII, no. 5 (November 1900): 575-577).
The essay on this web site with some commentary and external links
Google Books has the entire periodical available online  [Essay's start page]
Translation of Du Bois's text into Italian as "Il Negro Americano a Parigi" by Dr. Roberta Sassatelli [faculty page], which was published in Studi Culturali, Anno 1, N. 2 (Dicembre 2004), pp.317-335. (Sassatelli's Introduction spans pp.317-322).
Source Condensing "The American Negro at Paris"
In Public Opinion (11-15-1900), we find a condensed version of DuBois's essay. The piece is entitled "The Sociological Exhibit of American Negroes"; the by-line (or subtitle?) reads "W. E. B. Du Bois, in the November American Monthly Review of Reviews, New York. Condensed for Public Opinion". [Citation: Public Opinion: A Comprehensive Summary of the Press, v.29, n.20 (15 November 1900): 620-621].
Start page of the essay at Google Books: . . .PA620,M1
[About-this-book page]
Secondary Source:
An anonymously written notice of Du Bois' article on "The American Negro at Paris" was published in the section "Reviews and Notices" of the Publications of the Southern History Association (Vol. V, No. 1 (January 1901): 83-84).
       In the Review of Reviews for November, Dr. W. E. B. DuBois has an article on the exhibition of the American negro at Paris. "This is the exhibit of American negroes, planned and executed by negroes, and collected and installed under the direction of a negro special agent, Mr. Thomas J. Calloway." It undertakes to show (a) The history of the American negro ; (b) His present condition ; (c) His education ; (d) His literature. There are charts, photographs, models of progress, pictures and maps illustrating his condition present and past. One set of charts undertakes to show his condition in the United States as a whole ; another shows conditions in the typical State of Georgia. There are exhibits of various institutions of learning for that race ; a record of 350 patents granted black men since 1834, while his literature makes a bibliography of 1,400 titles, of which 200 are on exhibition. A list of awards granted the exhibit is added.    [R. Williams' Note: "Negro" is not capitalized in the original. Also, the periodical title is not marked by italics or underlining.]
Page 83 in the full text of the periodical (at Google Books):
[Alternate digital version at Google Books]
Atlanta University published The Bulletin of Atlanta University, documenting the happenings at the school. It is available online at the HBCU Library Alliance Digital Collection [portal]. The 193 issues of The Bulletin span the years 1888 through 1909. Du Bois was often referenced. The Paris Exposition was mentioned in a few issues.
Search for "Paris Exposition" within The Bulletin
The Credo online repository has a few primary and secondary sources on 1900 Paris Exposition. The Credo Online Repository contains the W.E.B. Du Bois Papers which is the database available at the Special Collections and University Archives located in the University of Massachusetts Amherst library. One can search the Credo database for "Paris Exposition".
    The W.E.B. Du Bois Papers have been digitized and are accessible online. For further information see the project description at the National Endowment for the Humanities ("W.E.B. Du Bois in Cyberspace" by Joshua Sternfeld, dated 2-15-2015).
Credo (Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Umbra Search is a useful metasearch engine that will search multiple digital collections for each set of search terms entered. Umbra Search focuses on primary and secondary sources pertinent to African American history. It will locate various primary and secondary sources on the 1900 Paris Exposition as well as Du Bois's work exhibited there. Umbra Search will return results housed at the Credo repository (University of Massachusetts Amherst Library), the Library of Congress, the Robert W. Woodruff Library (Clark Atlanta University), and the College of Charleston Libraries, among others. Umbra Search is developed by the University of Minnesota Libraries Archives and Special Collections and the Penumbra Theater Company [About page].
Umbra Search [Use terms such as  1900 Paris Exposition  or perhaps  Du Bois 1900 Paris ]
Exhibit of American Negroes - World's Fair, Paris 1900.
This is a reconstruction of DuBois' famous exhibit. It was prepared from archival sources by Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr. (faculty page at the School of Education, University of Miami).
Paris Exposition of 1900: Photographs at the U.S. Library of Congress. Du Bois and Thomas J. Calloway compiled and organized photographs and other materials for The Paris Exposition of 1900 (Exposition universelle internationale de 1900). Many of these photos are located in the online catalog at the "Prints and Photographs Reading Room" of the Library of Congress. There are several ways to access the collection, as indicated by the directory structure presented in the following URLs.
"African American Photographs Assembled for 1900 Paris Exposition"
"African American Photographs Assembled for 1900 Paris Exposition: Search Results" [Thumbnail pictures by which to view the larger images]
[Alternate LOC URL:]  [5-1-20]
Blog Post: "Du Bois's American Negro Exhibit for the 1900 Paris Exposition" by Jeff Bridgers (Posted February 28, 2014)
"Picture This: Library of Congress Prints & Photos" [Blog]
"Paris Exposition Universelle Collection". About 60 photographs from the U.S. Library of Congress' collection on the 1900 Exposition are presented in a series of web pages.
Reading Guide to "W.E.B. Du Bois, African American photographs assembled for the 1900 Paris Exposition" presented by the National Humanities Center as part of its "Toolbox Library: Primary Resources in U.S. History and Literature," specifically the Toolbox Library entitled: "The Making of African American Identity 1865-1917" [start page].
"Public Image" [Contrasts 1900 Paris Exposition photographs with stereotypes of the "Negro banjo player" (the NHC links to such images)]
"The Negro Exhibit" by Thomas J. Calloway (1901). Calloway published this report in which he described the exhibit on and by African Americans that was presented at the International Universal Exposition in Paris. He also outlined Du Bois's contributions to the exhibit.
[Citation: Pp.463-467 in Report of the Commissioner-General for the United States to the International Universal Exposition, Paris, 1900. Volume II. U.S. Senate Document No. 232 (56th Congress, 2d Session). Washington, D.C.: G.P.O., 1901].

In the New York Times of 12 May 1900, within a section entitled "Topics of the Week", an anonymously written piece reported various matters. One topic was related to the 1900 Paris Exposition. That portion is presented here verbatim and in its entirety, along with its lower-case capitalization of "Negro" and "Colored":
   Mr. Daniel Murray, Assistant Librarian of Congress, who for more than thirty years has been connected with the Library of Congress, is preparing a bibliography of books by negro authors, together with a collection of the books themselves to send to the Paris Exposition. lt is expected that the collection will also be exhibited in Buffalo in 1901. Mr. Murray's researches have revealed the remarkable fact that 1,200 books and pamphlets have been written by American colored men and women. lt is perhaps not an exaggeration to say that no one would have believed that the colored race in this country was so prolific in the production of literature. When Mr. Murray began his task he felt incredulous as to his ability to obtain 300 titles. He has of course fully identified the authors of every one of the 1,200 items; often he has been at considerable trouble so to do. For example, it is perhaps not generally known that A. H. Grimke, author of "William Lloyd Garrison, the Abolltionist," and "Charles Sumner, the Scholar in Politics," in Funk & Wagnalls Company's American Reformer Series, is a colored writer.  [No page or column numbers were given in the page facsimile.]
Article Preview page at the New York Times archives
[Download the article as a PDF file (123K)]
An anonymously written notice, "Negro Authorship," was published in the Publications of the Southern History Association (1900). As presented in the "Notes and Queries" section, the brief piece is transcribed below verbatim and in its entirety:
     Negro Authorship.—Under the direction of the librarian of Congress, Mr. Daniel Murray, himself a Negro, and member of the Library Staff, has made a large collection of books and pamphlets by Negro authors for exhibition at Paris, and afterwards for permanent deposit in the Library of Congress. In connection with this Mr. Murray hopes to make a complete Negro bibliography. His efforts will give the most authentic evidence of the literary output of the race. It will doubtless be a matter of great astonishment that the preliminary list of titles covers six printed pages, or nearly three hundred in all, the most of the works having been published in this country, with a few in London.
 Robert Williams' Note 1 (Citation): Anonymous. 1900. "Negro Authorship." [Notes and Queries]. Publications of the Southern History Association, 4:4 (July): 295-296.
Note 2: The anonymous author is probably referencing Daniel Murray's bibliographic compilation entitled Preliminary List of Books and Pamphlets by Negro Authors for Paris Exposition and Library of Congress (Washington, D.C., U.S. Commission to the Paris Exposition, 1900). The Library of Congress has viewable page images online: start page.
The notice is accessible at Google Books  [start page]
"The Negro in Literature," 1900, was anonymously written and published in the "Letters and Art" section of the Literary Digest. Full citation: Anonymous. "The Negro in Literature." Literary Digest, v.21, n.5 (August 4, 1900): 130. The text of the piece is rendered verbatim and in its entirety.
     The Negro in Literature.—One of the most unique exhibits in the American section of the Paris Exhibition will be a complete bibliography of the pamphlets and books written by negro authors. This work has been carried on with great thoroughness for the past two years by Mr. Daniel Murray, of the Congressional Library, under the direction of the librarian of Congress, Mr. Herbert Putnam. The following account of this work is given in the Chicago Times-Herald:
     "In Mr. Murray's preliminary list of books and pamphlets by negro authors there are 1,100 titles and about 1,200 writers. These beginnings have been found mostly in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Baltimore, and Washington. The pamphlet literature is particularly interesting, as showing to what extent colored men became thinkers and scholars in days when it was a crime to teach negroes to read and write. These people without a country and without favor not only became educated, but what they wrote contributed greatly to the political, religious, and social questions of the day. Many of these earlier writers were educated in the West Indies. Much of their writing exhibited excellence of the highest order.
     "The chief characteristic of nearly all of this early writing by negro authors was seriousness. There was but little fiction, poetry, or humor. How to destroy slavery and bring freedom and equality to the enslaved was the burden of most of the first negro authors. With the conquest of slavery negro authors lost their most inspiring theme. Since that time a very few men and women have gained name and fame as contributors to American literature.
     "George W. Williams's 'History of the American Negro,' in two large volumes, is an interesting and valuable compilation. Bishop Payne's 'History of the A. M. E. Church.' Anna J. Cooper's essays, 'A Voice from the South,' Frederick Douglass's wonderful autobiography, the more recent publications by Booker T. Washington, Professor Du Boise [sic], and the lives of Phillips and Sumner, by Archibald Grimke. and the literary productions of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Charles Chestnut are representative of the best things contributed to American literature by negro authors. These later books are what might be called the first productions of the negro in freedom. It is the first literary utterance of the negro who has been to school. It is also prophetic of what may be expected. It is a promise that authorship of a most interesting and valuable kind will develop in the course of the progressive life of the race."
 Robert Williams' Note: "Negro" is not capitalized in the original text. Du Bois's name is misspelled as "Du Boise".
Start page of the article within the entire issue (p.130) . . #PPA130,M1
"Colored Bishop's Welcome: Head of the A.M.E. Zion Church Tells of European Trip" is a brief, anonymously written news article in The New York Times (18 August 1900) on Bishop Alexander Wallace Walters, and the remarks he gave in a New York church upon his return to the U.S.A. Among other items, the remarks included a brief mention of the 1900 Paris Exposition and the "American Negro Exhibit". Du Bois is not referenced at any point in the news article. The relevant excerpt from the news article is quoted as follows:
    Here the speaker gave an extended account of his visit to England and the part he played in the Pan-American [sic; see RW's Note 3 below] Conference. Dr. Creighton, Lord Bishop of London, delivered the address of welcome at the Pan-American [sic] Conference. The colored delegates from all quarters of the globe, the Bishop said, were given a tea in the terrace of the House of Parliament. Speaking of the American negro exhibit at the Paris Exposition, Bishop Walters said, in part:
    "The exhibit is as unique as it is powerful, occupying about one-fourth of the entire United States space in the building. High up on the top in letters of gold is the sign 'American Negro Exhibit.'" The Bishop at this point described the various exhibits by negroes, mentioning the books by negro authors and many other interesting features.  [p.12]
 Robert Williams's Note 1 (Citation): Anonymous. "Colored Bishop's Welcome: Head of the A. M. E. Zion Church Tells of European Trip." New York Times, 18 August 1900, p.12. .
Note 2: "Negro" and "Negroes" were not capitalized in the original except in the case of the sign mentioned, which was labelled 'American Negro Exhibit'.
Note 3: The "Pan-American Conference" mentioned in the excerpt should read the "Pan-African Conference".
Note 4: For more on Bishop Walter's account of the Pan-African Conference peruse his autobiography My Life and Work (NY: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1917): pp.253-264 [start page at UNC-CH].
At the New York Times news archive (citation page)
[Notes: Registration with the NY Times may be required to access the article as a PDF file (~132 KB). The title of the digital file starts with "Lost Violin Recovered...." Scroll down to read the piece on Bishop Walters.]
"Paris and the International Exposition" by Morris Lewis. Lewis, as stated in the article was Attaché to the U.S. Commission to the Paris Exposition; he published this piece in The Colored American Magazine, 1:5 (October 1900): pp.291-295. He described the U.S. presence at the Exposition in general terms, but noted particular cases of African Americans there. He also highlighted the "Negro Exhibit" and included a brief mention of DuBois by name (p.295):
     The Negro Exhibit in the Palace of Social Economy on the banks of the Seine is one of particular interest, in that it shows to the world the progress made by a race of but thirty years' freedom. This exhibit is successfully installed in a corner of the United States section, and among other objects consists chiefly of photographs of the Negro educational institutions of the United States. Booker T. Washington's school at Tuskegee, Ala., has on exhibition a very fine collection of work turned out at the school, consisting of wood-turning, joining, painting, graining, forging, harness-making, etc. A large portrait of Booker T. Washington hangs above the exhibit. Large pictures of the late Hon. B. K. Bruce, and Hon. Judson W. Lyons, the present Register of the Treasury, are here exhibited, together with two five-thousand-dollar government bonds, bearing the respective signatures of these distinguished colored gentlemen. Many books are here by colored authors. A series of charts giving statistics with reference to the status of the Negro in the United States, and especially in the state of Georgia, are neatly arranged in wing frames. These were prepared at Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga., under the direction of Prof. W. E. B. DuBois. A bronze statuette of the Hon. Frederick Douglass is on exhibition, this being a facsimile of the statue to Doug- lass in Rochester, N. Y. This collective exhibit has received a "grand prize."
     In the Palace of Beaux Arts is to be found H. O. Tanner's painting, "Daniel in the Lion's Den," while in the United States National Pavilion Mr. Tanner has two pictures, "The Lion Hunt" and "Hills near Jerusalem." Mr. Tanner receives a silver medal as an award from the Exposition.  [p.295]
 Robert Williams's Note: "Negro" is indeed capitalized in the original text.
Start page of the article available at Hathi Trust Digital Library (p.291)
"The Negro Exhibit" section within N.P. Gilman's article "Social Economics at the Paris Exposition" (Bulletin of the Department of Labor, No. 34 (May 1901): 440-489). Gilman described various exhibits from the U.S.A. and other countries at the Exhibition as they related to "social economics", a field encompassing industry, unions, working conditions, and industrial education, among other things. Gilman wrote:
     An unusual exhibit in the United States section was the varied collection showing the progress of the Negro race in the United States. This exhibit embraced many specimens of work done in manual-training and trade schools, besides the usual educational exhibits; a collection of books by Negro authors and of newspapers and periodicals published by Negroes; photographs of the Hampton Institute, the Tuskegee School, and other colleges and training schools for the Negro; a collection of charts illustrating the condition of the American Negro, prepared by students of Atlanta University; a number of volumes, too formidable in size for consultation, compiled by Prof. W. E. Burghardt Du Bois, entitled The Georgia Negro, a Social Study; Types of American Negroes; The Black Code of Georgia; Negro Landholders of Georgia, and Negro Life in Georgia. One set of photographs showed the possibilities of the race, and was concerned with the Coleman Manufacturing Company's cotton mill, a plant owned, managed, and operated entirely by Negroes. Some of the more important statistics presented in the exhibit are here shown.
[. . . .]
 Robert Williams's Note 1: The section continued by presenting various economic and demographic data on African Americans in general and African Americans in Georgia in particular.
Note 2: It is interesting to observe that "Negro" is capitalized in the original text, a convention that was not necessarily followed by all publications of the era. Also, the several words descriptive of the contents of the "Negro Exhibit" are not identified by italics or quotation marks.
Start page of the section on "The Negro Exhibit" (pp. 471-473)
[Start page for N.P. Gilman's entire article]
[Primary Source Note: These cited pages are part of the Bulletin of the Department of Labor's Volume VI, which is accessible in its entirety: TOC. Note also that Du Bois's "The Negro Landholder of Georgia" (Bulletin of the Department of Labor, No. 35 (July 1901): 647-777) is available, although with several pages missing, and a few pages out of sequence. Also accessible in that volume are William Taylor Thom's "The Negroes of Sandy Spring, Md." (Bulletin No. 32 (January 1901): 43-102); and his "The Negroes of Litwalton, Va." (Bulletin No. 37 (November 1901): 1115-1170).]

"The Paris Exposition of 1900 and W.E.B. Du Bois" by Ronald L. F. Davis. (No date is given, but the PBS show was originally aired in 2002).
Davis writes:
 The exhibit clearly had a political intention in that it did not dwell directly upon any of the injustices suffered by American blacks at the hands of a racist, white society. Indeed, no images documenting such oppression would have been allowed by the American authorities. Instead, the exhibit was a visual appeal for world to recognize that talented African Americans were ready and prepared to take their place among the most civilized people of the coming modern age. Less than a summation of the past, Du Bois' exhibit portrayed a vision of the future.
At PBS's "The History of Jim Crow" site (Overview page)
[As PDF file: 8K]
"W.E.B. Du Bois in Paris: The Exhibition That Shattered Myths About Black America: On the Aesthetics of Research" by Jacqueline Francis and Stephen G. Hall [author pages: J.F. and S.G.H.]. They discuss Du Bois's 1900 Paris Exposition exhibit, exploring the photographs and the graphics that were integral to Du Bois's project. The authors examine how Du Bois used the photography of the early 1900s as well as the aesthetics of Modernist art to challenge the prevailing stereotypes of Whites. The authors also discuss the historical context of Du Bois's project, including how it came to be at the exposition. The essay includes several photos and graphics from the exhibition. The essay is excerpted from their book Black Lives 1900: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Paris Exposition (Redstone Press, 2019).
"W.E.B. Du Bois' Talented Tenth in Pictures" by Henry Louis Gates Jr. [faculty page]. The subtitle reads: "An unusual exhibit of photographs of middle-class African Americans at the Paris Expo of 1900 was a declaration of war against racial stereotypes -- and a forerunner of class conflict among blacks." This essay was posted at The Root on 2 December 2010.
Also note: "The Talented Tenth in Pictures" (at The Root) is a slideshow of 14 images from the Paris Exposition housed at the Library of Congress. The webpage subtitle reads: "To counter the negative images of African Americans in the late 19th century, W.E.B. Du Bois displayed portraits of middle-class blacks at the Paris Exposition of 1900. The Root has published some images from this act of defiance."
A tweet on the Du Bois Institute's twitter account reads: " "Talented Tenth in Pictures" Image gallery curated and annotated by Renée Mussai" [Dated] "11:53 AM Dec 2nd, 2010" [URL:].

Dr. Gates's article is available on The Root website
"Finding One's Place: Creating a New Eden for the 'New Negro': An Analysis of the American Negro Exhibit's Photography at the Paris Exposition of 1900" by Shannon Grevious. (No date given, but perhaps 2006 or 2005). Grevious writes in the Abstract:
 Since the turn of the 20th century, photography has emerged as a tool to document the human existence and has become a powerful lens of a perceived truth. However, as a machine, the camera alone does not create our reality; those behind the camera determine the visual content and context of photographs and influence how the audience perceives a photographic subject. W.E.B. Du Bois understood the power of photography and like his contemporaries, who used photography to document scientific evidence, adopted the photographic image to combat racist imagery and negative perceptions of African-Americans at the turn of the 20th century.
From Gnovis, Vol. 6 (Georgetown University's journal of Communication, Culture and Technology [Note: 12 megabyte PDF file]
Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection, Library of Congress. The LOC houses many of her photographs which span a long career. There are photographs of Hampton Institute, some of which may have been displayed as part the Exhibit of American Negroes.
Search Johnston's online LOC collection for "Hampton"
Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection, Prints & Photographs Division, LOC
Collection Overview: Frances Benjamin Johnston (Prints & Photographs Reading Room, LOC)
Talks by David Levering Lewis and Deborah Willis, co-authors of A Small Nation of People: W.E.B. Du Bois & African American Portraits of Progress (NY: Amistad, 2003), about the 1900 Paris Exhibition.
Streaming video, "Historians to discuss Images of Early African American Life," Center For The Book, Library of Congress, 29 October 2003.
"Pictures at an Exhibition - April in Paris: A startling image at the Exposition Universelle" by Jack Neely. 2003. Columnist Neely provides local -- specifically, Knoxville, Tennessee -- commmentary on one photograph at the 1900 Paris Exposition. He briefly discussed Charles C. Dodson (owner of the jewelry and watchmaker's shop, Dodson & Co.) within the overall context of Du Bois's "The Exhibit of American Negroes" at the Exposition.
At the "Metro Pulse Online: Knoxville's Weekly Voice" (February 20, 2003: Vol. 13, No. 8)
* Note: In my experience this web page has sometimes redirected to an unrelated page. Under those circumstances, I pressed the Escape key or clicked the browser's Stop button immediately after the page was displayed.
* The Dodson photograph can be viewed online at the Library of Congress. Go to the LOC's search page and enter the following phrase exactly (omitting the double quotation marks, however): "Home of C.C. Dodson, Knoxville, Tenn." One can also view another photo: "Mr. Dodson, jeweller in Knoxville, Tenn."
"American Visions at the Paris Exposition, 1900: Another Look at Frances Benjamin Johnston's Hampton Photographs." Article by Jeannene M. Przyblyski (Art Journal, 57:3 (Fall 1998)).
Unfortunately, I could not locate a free online version of this article.
"Their Own Progress and Prospect: African Americans and l'Exposition Universelle de 1900" by Wilfred D. Samuels (Heath Anthology of American Literature Newsletter, Spring 1999)
Article online via Cengage Learning [Updated: 11-15-15]
"'Looking at One's Self Through the Eyes of Others': W.E.B. Du Bois's Photographs for the 1900 Paris Exposition." Article by Shawn Michelle Smith [faculty page; web site] (African American Review, 34:4 (Winter 2000): 581-599).
Available at Shawn Michelle Smith's faculty page (PDF) [Updated: 11-15-15]
David A. Gerstner reviews Shawn Michelle Smith's Photography on the Color Line: W.E.B. Du Bois, Race, and Visual Culture (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004). [Gerstner's faculty page.] Regarding "Du Bois's Georgia Negro albums" exhibited in Paris Gerstner writes that Smith examines
the way Du Bois presents the photograph[s] for the gaze of the white spectator. Du Bois's presentation of the archive [of assembled photos] was part and parcel of his strategy to achieve a representation of African Americans as intelligent and successful under the terms of Anglo-Saxon cultural capital. Indeed, a key holding of Smith's work is that Du Bois embraced certain aspects of white middle-class culture, including the belief that the black population housed a criminal class. Thus, Smith, as other recent scholars have done, is careful to avoid over-simplified panegyrics for Du Bois since his exhibition of photographs coincides with his worldview steeped in middle-class propriety. Hence, Smith's concern, here, is with the way Du Bois creates the archive through a specific set of cultural lenses.
Viewable at Scope: An Online Journal of Film & TV Studies, at the University of Nottingham (Issue 3, November 2005)
"Du Bois in Paris — Exposition Universelle, 1900" is an extensive post by Ellen Terrell (24 February 2015) at one of the blogs housed at the Library of Congress. Terrell writes about the context of Du Bois's contributions to the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle and how his exhibition there came to be. She provides various links to the LOC catalog for the materials cited.
Mixed Messages: Thomas Calloway and the "American Negro Exhibit" of 1900 by Miles E. Travis. MA Thesis in History, Montana State University, April 2004.
Abstract / Description of the Thesis
Available online as a 2 megabyte PDF file (with photographs)
"W.E.B. Du Bois and the 1900 Paris Exhibition." This is a short, three-page section of a larger site called "America's Story from America's Library." The section briefly describes the background and rationale of the "Negro Exhibition" at Paris Exposition in the context of African Americans and the struggle for civil rights. Also, a few photos from the exhibition are displayed.
The site is sponsored by the U.S. Library of Congress . . /activists/dubois/exhibit_1  [Start page]
[ Alternate site: . ./activists/dubois/exhibit_1 ]
"Small Nation, Large Lives" by John Vettese. This piece discusses Deborah Willis and her experiences while researching the essay she wrote for A Small Nation of People: W.E.B. Du Bois and African American Portraits of Progress (Amistad/HarperCollins, 2003) [the book also contained an essay by David Levering Lewis].
At Philadelphia City Paper, October 9-15, 2003
"W.E.B. Du Bois' African-American Portraits" (at the 1900 Paris Exposition). Radio interview with Deborah Willis, co-author of A Small Nation of People.
Audio of the original broadcast, 2 December 2003, on "All Things Considered" (National Public Radio)
"A Small Nation of People" (Book on the "Exhibit of American Negroes" at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris). This is a radio interview with Deborah Willis, the book's co-author, as conducted by Gwen Ifill.
Transcript of the interview on PBS' Newshour show of 8 January 2004

Various online book repositories contain numerous contemporary documents on the 1900 Paris Exposition, or the Exposition universelle internationale de 1900. Most do not seem to specifically mention Du Bois or the American Negro Exhibit, but they do include documents from official governmental, institutional, and other sources, as well as personal accounts of the Exposition. One can search for 1900 Paris Exposition (no quotation marks) at Google Books, or at Hathi Trust Digital Library, or at the Internet Archive.
"Negro Exhibits at Paris" was written anonymously and published in the New York Times (3 November 1899). The text of the brief news article is presented below verbatim and in its entirety.
Commissioner Peck Decides to Make
an Educational Display.
    WASHINGTON, Nov. 2. — Ferdinand W. Peck, the Commissioner General of the United States to the Paris Exposition, has had under consideration for some time the question of a negro [sic] educational exhibit at the exposition, to be under the general supervision of the Commissioner in charge of the National educational exhibit of the United States.
    After consultation with the President today, Mr. Peck announced that he had decided to provide for the exhibit, and had appointed Thomas J. Calloway, a well-known colored educationalist now in the employ of the War Department, to have direction of it. The Hampton and Tuscogee [sic] Institute and the Fisk and Vanderbilt Universities will be represented in the exhibit, as well as prominent colored schools generally.
    In speaking of the exposition, Mr. Peck said that the twelve Commissioners of the United States whose appointments were provided for by an act passed at the last session of Congress, probably would be named by the President within the next week or ten days.
 Citation: Anonymous. 3 November 1899. "Negro Exhibits at Paris." New York Times. [No further citation information was available at the NY Times Archive web site].
Robert Williams' Note 2: "Negro" is not capitalized in the original. Tuskegee is also misspelled in the original.
R.W. Note 3: The typefaces of the headline, subtitle, and text are not retained.
Access page at the New York Times  [Registration may be required]
"Scope of the Negro Exhibit. Special Commissioner to Paris Outlines His Plans" was published in the New York Times of 5 November 1899 and was written anonymously. The text of the brief news article is presented below verbatim and in its entirety.
Special Commissioner to Paris Out-
lines His Plans.
    WASHINGTON, Nov. 4.—Thomas J. Calloway, who has just been appointed by Commissioner General Peck a Special Commissioner to the Paris Exposition for the purpose of preparing and managing a negro [sic] exhibit, has already begun his work and will start in a few days upon a tour for the collection of the exhibits. He has given out the following outline of the plans:
    "The negro [sic] exhibit, as its name indicates, is to show as far as possible the actual status of the colored people as shown in their homes, schools, farms, stores, churches, professions, and other pursuits. The amount of space is limited, but sufficient to prove the negro’s [sic] value as a laborer, a producer, a citizen. By contrasting views of mud chimney cabins with well-appointed homes[,] crude log school-houses with commodious school buildings, &c., the past and present condition of the race will be shown in a way to remove all doubt of the rapid progress being made.
    "President McKinley has manifested a strong personal interest in this exhibit."
 Citation: Anonymous. 5 November 1899. "Negro Exhibits at Paris." New York Times. [No further citation information was available at the NY Times Archive web site].
Robert Williams' Note 2: "Negro" is not capitalized in the original.
R.W. Note 3: The typefaces of the headline, subtitle, and text are not retained.
Access page at the New York Times  [Registration may be required]
A listing of the various U.S. exhibitors represented at the Paris Exposition was published by the "1900 Commission to the Paris Exposition, United States" in the Catalogue of Exhibitors in the United States Sections of the International Universal Exposition, Paris, 1900 (Paris: Imprimeries Lemercier, 1900). Here is the complete entry on Du Bois (p. 468):
  DuBois, W. E. B., Atlanta, Georgia.
     Collective exhibit, results of social study of the negro [sic] in Georgia.
Another entry pointing to DuBois's work at the Exposition is also on p. 468:
  Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia.
     Statistical charts showing development of negroes [sic] in America.
Other African American exhibitors can be found, for example, on pp. 43-44 and on pp. 468-470. Also, one can use the "Search-in-this-book" feature in Google Books for this particular work.
 * It is interesting to note the following anonymously written passage in the prefatory section (p. 23):
     The attitude of the United States of America before the other great nations of the world is interesting and peculiar. She is the first great republic of modern times founded upon the freedom, integrity, and intelligence of the citizen. She is free from the traditional inheritances which hamper nations of a longer life. She is isolated in her position, which has been to her a better protection than costly armaments. She has freed herself from the evil influences of human bondage. Her people are intelligent, industrious, and prosperous. She presents in the retrospective exposition of the nations, herself, her people, and her history.
Complete book can be viewed online or downloaded at Google Books  [Title page]
"The Country and the People of the United States" by Edward David Jones, a member of the United States Commission to the Paris Exposition of 1900. This 25-page document is part of the series, Monographs on American Social Economics, Vol. 2 (Department of Social Economy for the U.S. Commission to the Paris Exposition, 1900).
    In a two-paragraph section, Jones presented a brief glimpse of African American progress on literacy, while repeating a common view about the declining percentage of Blacks in the population as a whole (perhaps based on Frederick Hoffman's book; see Note 1 below). In the second paragraph, arguably Jones can be read as indirectly providing an excuse for the electoral disfranchisement of African Americans. The following quotation from p. 24 constitutes the entirety of the information on African Americans conveyed by Jones. (Note that various spellings, such as the non-capitalized "Negro", are found in the original text).
    In 1890 the negro population was 7,470,040, or 11.93% of the whole population. [Map number omitted.--RWW] The negro has constituted a decreasing proportion of the total population for many years. Though the importation of slaves was suspended for many years prior to the civil war, the negro was given but meagre opportunities to advance in the culture scale under the influence of slavery. Since his emancipation his advancement has been marvellous. Of the illiteracy of the race 40% has been removed.
    The present serious turning of the negro race from political ambitions to industrial education is most promising for the future. An acquaintance with those arts and trades and handicrafts which have made other races great and influential is necessary as a foundation for permanent race advancement.
 Robert Williams' Note 1: The comment on "decreasing proportion" in the first paragraph is perhaps a reference to Frederick L. Hoffman, "The Race Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro" (Publications of the American Economic Association, Vol.11, No.1/3.(Jan.-Mar.-May 1896): pp.1-329).
Note 2: The view of the second paragraph also can be found in an Emmett J. Scott article of 1901 describing the Tenth Annual Tuskegee Negro Conference. In his words: "We would urge our people not to become discouraged while the race is passing from what was largely a political basis to an economic one, as a foundation for citizenship." [p. 317 (Source: Scott, Emmett J. "Tenth Annual Tuskegee Negro Conference". African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 17, Num. 4 (April 1901): pp. 314-320. Available online from the Ohio Historical Society: citation page).
Complete document by Edward D. Jones available via Google's Book Search
"Meta Warrick's 1907 'Negro Tableaux' and (Re)Presenting African American Historical Memory" by W. Fitzhugh Brundage and published in the Journal of American History, 89:4 (March 2003). Brundage briefly mentions DuBois in this article whose central focus is on the African American artist Meta Vaux Warrick (1877-1968). Via studying Warrick we can comprehend more fully the U.S. intellectual context that both she and Du Bois were addressing through their particular works. Brundage writes (in paragraphs 1 and 7, respectively):
     Confronting visitors who meandered through the Negro Building at the 1907 Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition, held in Norfolk, Virginia, was a tableau entitled Landing of First Twenty Slaves at Jamestown. Meta Warrick (Fuller), a sculptor, had created and arranged twenty-four two-foot-high plaster figures that re-imagined the shackled, nearly nude, and traumatized Africans who had landed in Jamestown in 1619. In Landing and thirteen other dioramas, she used more than 130 painted plaster figures, model landscapes, and backgrounds to give viewers a chronological survey of the African American experience. Scenes ranged from a tableau of a fugitive slave to a depiction of the home life of "the modern, successfully educated, and progressive Negro."[1] Drawing upon but moving beyond her classical training in Philadelphia and Paris, Warrick applied new capacities for simulation and illusion to the depiction of African American themes. By doing so, she expanded the repertoire of representation of the African American past. Incorporating the lives and concerns of African Americans into the saga of civilization, she turned the historical African American into the centerpiece of the saga, claiming a position the dominant white narrative denied. Her dioramas, which suggested the expansiveness of black abilities, aspirations, and experiences, presented a cogent alternative to white representations of history -- by an African American.   [Note 1 omitted.]
 [ .... Paragraphs 2 through 6 omitted .... ]
     Yet, as Warrick's dioramas underscore, the participation of colonized and "primitive" peoples in expositions created opportunities for African Americans to destabilize the binary classification of civilization and "the other," of modernity and primitiveness. African Americans well understood the importance of how they were represented at world's fairs. When Du Bois surveyed with satisfaction the 1900 Paris exposition, he stressed with special emphasis that the "honest, straightforward exhibit" in the Negro Section was "above all" made by blacks. As the cultural theorist Walter Benjamin observed about film, new modes of representation "in the age of mechanical reproduction" empowered the masses to comprehend themselves for the first time.[6] Warrick's dioramas, similarly, enabled blacks to see themselves as the main actors in their own defined world. Whereas "Old South" concessions and anthropological exhibits organized by whites exhibited blacks, Warrick's dioramas represented them. The distinction between exhibiting and representing blacks was not just authorship but also agency. The Jamestown tableaux highlighted blacks' creative capacity, manifest in the very form of Warrick's creation, as well as black agency depicted in the narrative itself. By assuming responsibility for their own representation at expositions, African Americans grappled with the ideological schemata that undergirded fairs. Certainly Warrick contested in both subtle and obvious ways the overarching ambitions and assumptions about race, civilization, and progress that found expression at other parts of the Jamestown exposition. Thus, Warrick's dioramas illustrate how the new technologies and discourses of racial and imperial "truth" could be contested even in the setting where they were most powerfully articulated.
[Footnote 6]
Du Bois, "American Negro at Paris," 577; Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," in Illuminations, ed. Hannah Arendt, trans. Harry Zohn (New York, 1985), 251.
[ Note: Du Bois' "American Negro at Paris" is available on this web site.]
At "Teaching the Journal of American History" [Site]

Cassell's Guide to Paris and the Universal Exhibition of 1900 provided an anonymously written overview of Paris and its varied attractions. It included details on how to navigate the city, with the foreign visitor to the Paris Exhibition in mind — and in the book's title. The guide, however, did not describe the Exhibition and thus did not contain information on the Exhibit of American Negroes or on Du Bois.
(Publishing data: London: Cassell and Company, n.d.)
Book viewable online at Hathi Trust (Catalog page)

The Phyllis Wheatley Club of Colored Women of Buffalo, New York, wished to provide an exhibit of African Americans for the Pan American Exposition of 1901 which was planned for Buffalo. The group strongly advocated that the Exhibit of American Negroes from the 1900 Paris Exposition, which Du Bois and Calloway organized, be set up at the Pan American Exposition. After much effort, that came to pass. In addition to the "Negro Exhibit", there was the "Darkest Africa" exhibit (with an African Village) and the "Old Plantation" exhibit.
Source: The Negro Exhibit at the Pan American Exposition of 1901
"Books at Buffalo; Surprisingly Few of Them at the Exposition" by F.H.S. was published in the New York Times (August 3, 1901). The author in a long article discussed the books by U.S. authors exhibited at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY, in 1901. The following verbatim excerpt describes the "Afro-American" authors presented at the exposition:
    That overworked phrase, "one of the most interesting," may be applied with propriety to a collection of some 300 works of negro authorship in the negro exhibit. This collection was originally made for the Paris Exposition. Viewed here, in connection with other things showing the rise of the American negro, it is a wonderfully significant array of volumes. "A Dialogue Between a Virginian and an American Minister," published by the Rev. Daniel Croker at Baltimore, in 1810, is believed to be the first literary production of an American negro. Since that date, some 2,000 volumes have been written by Afro-Americans, not counting magazine articles. The exposition collection ranges from the Rev. John Jasper's "The Sun Do Move," to the works of Du Bois, Chesnutt, Dunbar, and Booker T. Washington.
 Citation: F.H.S. "Books at Buffalo; Surprisingly Few of Them at the Exposition." New York Times, Saturday Review of Books and Art. August 3, 1901: page BR12.
R.W. Note 2: Note that "Negro" is not capitalized in the original.
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"Fighting for Recognition: The Role African Americans played in World Fairs," by Andrew R. Valint, is a 2011 Masters Thesis in the History and Social Studies Education Department at the State University of New York, College at Buffalo (Buffalo State). In the thesis Valint discusses the 1893 Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition and the 1900 Paris Exposition (mentioning Du Bois also). But he emphasizes the recovered documentation that supports the claim that the exhibit initially hosted at the 1900 Paris Exposition was also shown at the 1901 Pan American Exposition held in Buffalo, NY. Valint cites various sources from the early 1900s. As valint wrote in the Abstract (viewable on the catalog page):
 As the U.S. ushered in the dawn of the 20th century, World Fairs became the altar on which blacks could showcase their progress since Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. From the 1889 fair in Paris to Buffalo’s Pan American Exposition of 1901 African Americans fought for a ‘Negro Exhibit’ to factually portray their race. If it were not for the diligent efforts of the staff at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, the existence of the ‘Negro Exhibit’ at Buffalo’s fair could have been lost to history. The library staff’s work has given African Americans a voice in Buffalo’s 1901 Pan American Exposition as well as an opportunity for future historians to glimpse into the culture of early 20th century America.
 Citation: Valint, Andrew R. 2011. "Fighting for Recognition: The Role African Americans played in World Fairs." M.A. Thesis, History and Social Studies Education Department, the State University of New York, College at Buffalo. Online:
Accessible via the catalog page for History Theses at Buffalo State
Other online information on the Pan American Exposition of 1901 (Buffalo, NY)
Illuminations: Revisiting the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition of 1901 (University at Buffalo Libraries)
The Pan-American Exposition
Search Google Books for viewable publications on the "Pan-American Exposition"
Search the Hathi Trust Digital Library for publications on the "Pan-American Exposition"
Search the Internet Archive for publications on the "Pan-American Exposition"

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