Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures

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Dorothea Lange. One Nation Indivisible, San Francisco. 1942

Gelatin silver print, 13 1/8 × 9 13/16" (33.4 × 25 cm). Purchase

Filmmaker, Dyanna Taylor: It's 1942. With the horrifying and surprising attack on Pearl Harbor, the government made a very rash decision to intern the Japanese-Americans that were living on the West Coast. Dorothea was hired by the government rather quickly to document the rounding up of the Japanese in the Bay Area.

We see almost immediately in her earliest photographs of this assignment, her distress at what the government is doing to the Japanese-American citizens.

And in the photograph of the little girl dutifully holding her hand over her chest and saying the pledge of allegiance, we can already see that Dorothea is at her eye level, and showing us with great compassion the earnestness of this child and that she is already a well-formed American citizen, and yet she's going to be taken away and put in an internment camp.