In 1935 a fledging government agency embarked on a project to photograph Americans hit hardest by the Great Depression. Over the next eight years, the photographers of the Farm Security Administration captured nearly a quarter-million images of tenant farmers and sharecroppers in the South, migrant workers in California, and laborers in northern industries and urban slums.
Of the roughly one thousand FSA photographs taken in Arkansas, approximately two hundred have been selected for inclusion in this volume. Portraying workers picking cotton for five cents an hour, families evicted from homes for their connection with the Southern Tenant Farmers Union, and the effects of flood and drought that cruelly exacerbated the impact of economic disaster, these remarkable black-and-white images from Ben Shahn, Arthur Rothstein, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, and other acclaimed photographers illustrate the extreme hardships that so many Arkansans endured throughout this era.
These powerful photographs continue to resonate, providing a glimpse of life in Arkansas that will captivate readers as they connect to a shared past.