The Great Depression in Alabama Photographs

- Robb, Frances*
The Great Depression made a major impact upon the American consciousness. The slide presentation will look at the Great Depression and how it affected Alabama and Alabamians. Many photographs made in Alabama in this era have become national icons of hardship and the federal government’s attempt to improve American lives. They were taken by notable photographers—including Walker Evans, Arthur Rothstein and Dorothea Lange—to win support for New Deal programs and help Americans empathize with people who were suffering. Others were made for state agencies and national foundations, for magazines and newspapers, and by local snapshooters. Alabama’s Depression-era photographs depict blacks and whites, rural and city folk. Although many show Alabamians in challenging situations, others are surprisingly cheerful. Together, they give us an interesting and surprisingly varied view of a troubled era, and they raise issues that are relevant today.

This presentation will be available in slides and as PowerPoint. For groups that do not have equipment, Robb can provide a slide projector and a screen.