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> In January 1937, the swollen banks of the Ohio River flooded Louisville, Kentucky, and its surrounding areas. With one hour’s notice, photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White caught the next plane to Louisville. She photographed the city from makeshift rafts, recording one of the largest natural disasters in American history for Life magazine, where she was a staff photographer. The Louisville Flood shows African-Americans lined up outside a flood relief agency. In striking contrast to their grim faces, the billboard for the National Association of Manufacturers above them depicts a smiling white family of four riding in a car, under a banner reading “World’s Highest Standard of Living. There’s no way like the American Way.” As a powerful depiction of the gap between the propagandist representation of American life and the economic hardship faced by minorities and the poor, Bourke-White’s image has had a long afterlife in the history of photography.
More of the photographs
High res of original
Hats were certainly a thing, even when driving!
Wow, this is an incredibly powerful photograph. It really puts things into perspective.
Tbh, America was still the wealthiest nation during the great depression.
Talk about a busy woman.
Bourke-White’s work is vast & is really worth diving into if you have time to do some research. She shot what ended up being the cover photo of the very first issue of Life Magazine, covered topics like
Industry in the Midwest USA, as well as Industrialism & Life in the Soviet Union during the ‘30s & early ‘40s (including during the German invasion of Russia).
She was at Buchenwald for its liberation by the United States Army in 1945. Her photos from the camp are as stunning as they are miserable.
She saw so much.
I just want to congratulate everybody. The stock market, Dow Jones Industrial Average just hit 30,000, which is the highest in history. We’ve never broken 30,000, and that’s despite everything that’s taken place with the pandemic. The stock market’s just broken 30,000 — never been broken, that number. That’s a sacred number, 30,000, and nobody thought they’d ever see it. I just want to congratulate all the people within the administration that worked so hard, and most importantly I want to congratulate the people of our country, because there are no people like you. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.