Wife of Pomp Hall, Negro tenant farmer, writing on typewriter.

  • Creator: Russell Lee. American. 1903-1986
  • Year: 1940 February
  • Location: Creek County, Oklahoma, United States

“Through union activities the Hall family developed a desire for higher education. This typewriter is to them a symbol of that education and as such is the most prized family possession.” — transcribed from the caption card.

This photograph was taken by photographer Russell Lee as part of his work with the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Comprising the documentary work of Lee and colleagues including Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, the photographs of the FSA form an extensive pictorial record of American life during the Great Depression and World War II. The program was one of the earliest to produce wide-ranging visual documentation of the lives of African-Americans.

This image is one of several photographs documenting the family of tenant farmer Pomp Hall of Creek County, Oklahoma. Tenant farming arose in the American South during Reconstruction and retained earlier dynamics of white landholders holding the majority of both capitol and profits, while Black tenant farmers and sharecroppers provided the labor to work the land. The FSA’s programs extended education and credit lines to farmers in an effort to ameliorate rural poverty and help families become self-sustaining.

Wife of Pomp Hall, Negro tenant farmer, writing on typewriter. is available in the public domain via Creative Commons No Known Copyright .

Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection | Source: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

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