Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures

Dorothea Lange. Ex-Slave with Long Memory, Alabama. c. 1937 225

Gelatin silver print, printed 1965, 15 3/16 × 11 15/16" (38.5 × 30.3 cm). Purchase

Filmmaker, Dyanna Taylor: I've looked at this photograph many times, and I've always been struck by the rim of light that falls on the woman's face, her shoulder, and on her hands - those hands tell us about a life of work, and a life of care.

This photograph was taken during a time when my grandmother and her husband, Paul Taylor were working for the Farm Security Administration. At that time, the government was sending out photographers to photograph the conditions around America.

This image is titled “_Ex-Slave with a Long Memory_”, and it was taken in Alabama in 1937. She doesn't always caption it. Sometimes it's basic. But “Ex-slave with a long memory” makes us pause and think.

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