Dorthea Lange: Documenting Migration

Dorthea Lange was an American documentary photographer who is best known for her Depression-era photography in which she humanized the impacts of the Great Depression.

Some of her most striking photography visualize rural poverty and the exploitation of migrant laborers.  These images, from the NYPL digital archives, document the movement of cotton hoers traveling from Memphis to work the at plantations in Alabama.

 

The last truckload of cotton hoers from Memphis bound for the Wilson Cotton Plantation in Arkansas, 43 miles distant, June 1937.
Date: 1937
Photographer: Dorothea Lange

 

Women being transported from Memphis, Tennessee to an Arkansas plantation, July 1937.
Date: 1937
Photographer: Dorothea Lange

 

These cotton hoers work from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. for $1.00 near Clarksdale, Mississippi, June-July 1937.
Date: 1937
Photographer: Dorothea Lange

 

Cotton hoers loading at Memphis for the day’s work in Arkansas; June, 1937.
Date: 1937
Photographer: Dorothea Lange

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