Posted on 02/19/2008

Photo taken on January  1, 1939

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I'll Bring School To Them

I'll Bring School To Them
Mother teaching children numbers and alphabet in home of sharecropper, Transylvania, Louisiana, January 1939.

Russell Lee Photographer
NY Public Library
Sharecroppers had little opportunity for education. Children often worked several months out of the year, and usually went to school only from November to March. "The girls in the school were from five to sixteen. Most of the boys were up to twelve or thirteen. That age was the end of their school career. Planting the cotton and corn, and chopping and hoeing was what they had to do then. The girls generally missed one or two days a week to wash the clothes for the family. Out of four or five months of school we missed at least a month."

Charles Denby, Indignant Heart: A Black Worker's Journal (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989).