Rural African American Life In The 1930s-40s

These remarkable color photographs were taken for the Farm Security Administration between 1939 and 1941. They depict African American tenant farmers and their families living in the rural South during World War II. Despite the efforts of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union (STFU), living conditions were often deplorable.

1. African American Tenant Home, Mississippi

Photographed by Marion Post Wolcott in September 1939.

2. Marcella Plantation, Mississippi

Photographed by Marion Post Wollcott in September 1939.

3. Day laborers picking cotton in Mississippi

Photographed by Marion Post Wolcott in September 1939.

4. Marcella Plantation, Mississippi

Photographed by Marion Post Wollcott in September 1939.

5. Fishing in a creek, Mississippi

Photographed by Marion Post Wollcott in October 1939.

6. African American tenant home, Louisiana

Photographed by Marion Post Wolcott in June 1940.

7. African American family, Louisiana

Photographed by Marion Post Wolcott in August 1940.

8. Children on a porch, Louisiana

Photographed by Marion Post Wollcott in August 1940.

9. Bayou Bourbeau Plantation, Louisiana

Photographed by Marion Post Wollcott in August 1940.

10. Storefront, Louisiana

Photographed by Marion Post Wollcott in July 1940.

11. Farm workers, Southern U.S.

Photographed by Marion Post Wollcott in 1940.

12. Chopping cotton on rented land, Georgia

Photographed by Jack Delano in June 1941.

13. Cutting Burley tobacco, Kentucky

Photographed by Marion Post Wollcott in September 1940.

14. Living Quarters and “Juke Joint” in Florida

Photographed by Marion Post Wollcott in February 1941.

15. Migratory workers outside “Juke Joint”

Photographed by Marion Post Wollcott in February 1941.

16. Migratory worker shacks, Florida

Photographed by Marion Post Wollcott in February 1941.

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