Category Archives: –GREENE COUNTY GA–

Tony Thompson, Ex-Slave

Tony Thompson a man who was born in Slavery Greene County GA June 1941 Photo by Jack Delano Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website

One of the most important facets of the work done by the WPA photographers was their documentation of living survivors of slavery, who by the Great Depression were all elderly men and women. Many were glad to be able to tell their stories and we are lucky to have the visual and historical record today. This gentleman was Tony Thompson of Greene County.

Jack Delano/Library of Congress (June 1941)

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Read-Clayton-Thompson House, Greensboro

Read Clayton Thompson House Greensboro GA Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston 1939 Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website

Frances Benjamin Johnston made detailed shots of the facade of this house, a landmark of Greene County in its day.

Read Clayton Thompson House Greensboro GA Front Porch Details Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston 1939 Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Read Clayton Thompson House Greensboro GA Front Porch Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston 1939 Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Read Clayton Thompson House Greensboro GA Architectural Details Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston 1939 Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Frances Benjamin Johnston/Library of Congress (1939 or 1944)

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Filed under --GREENE COUNTY GA--, Greensboro GA

Frances Benjamin Johnston in Greene County

Old Shop Greensboro Vicinity 1939 Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Old Shop Near Greensboro

Frances Benjamin Johnston was one of the first famous American women photographers and though she isn’t widely known outside academic circles today, she left behind a large archive of both personal and public work. The images seen here represent the focus of her later years, Southern architecture. The Library of Congress lists possible dates of 1939 and 1944 for these images. Since she was working widely in other Southern states at the time, they could date to either year. At any rate, they represent an important archive.

Two story brick building Greensboro GA Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston 1939 Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website

Two-story Brick Building, Greensboro

House in Greensboro Vicinity GA Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston 1939 Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website

House Near Greensboro

Old Frame Episcopal Church Greensboro GA Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston 1939 Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Episcopal Church, Greensboro

Jail Greensboro GA Greene County Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston 1939 Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Old Greene County Jail, Greensboro

Greene County Courthouse Greensboro GA Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston 1939 Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Greene County Courthouse, Greensboro

All Images Frances Benjamin Johnston/Library of Congress (1939 or 1944)

For more about Johnston’s fascinating life story:

http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/fbjchron.html

 

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Filed under --GREENE COUNTY GA--, Greensboro GA

Greene County Fair, October 1941

Greene County GA Fair 1941 Ring Toss Game Photo by Jack Delano Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

When Jack Delano made these photographs one October evening in 1941 in Greensboro, America was readying for war and times were changing quickly. In 1941, the county fair passed for “high-end” entertainment.

Greene County GA Fair October 1941 Photo by Jack Delano Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Greene County GA Fair 1941 Recreation Photo by Jack Delano Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Fairs were one of the few places where African-American and white Georgians came together in public, without much attention to the Jim Crow laws that pervaded the wider society of the day, though restrictions were still in place in the broader context.

Greene County GA Fair 1941 African Americans Photo by Jack Delano Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Greene County GA Fair October 1941 Children Having Fun Photo by Jack Delano Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Jack Delano/Library of Congress (October 1941)

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Wray Plantation, Greene County

Plantation house where the Wray family has lived for generations cotton plantation 2700 acres, employing fifty tenant families in 1918 and seven tenant families in 1937

In her notes, legendary photograph Dorothea Lange wrote that the Wray family had lived in this house and farmed this land for generations. The devastation of the Great Depression reduced a tenant farm of 2700 acres supporting fifty families in 1918 to one barely subsisting with seven families in 1937. Erosion and abandonment on the plantation are highlighted in the two images that follow.

Erosion on the Wray Plantation Greene County GA Dorothea Lange July 1937 Library of Congress Georgia in the Great Depression Website Brian Brown Vanishing Media USA 2013

Old Wagons on the Wray Plantation Greene County GA Dorothea Lange Library of Congress Georgia in the Great Depression Website Brian Brown Vanishing Media USA 2013

A master of documentary portraiture, Lange turned her camera on what she called a “Southern lady of the old school, on the veranda of the Big House of the Wray Plantation” in July 1937. The lady appears to be in her 80s, so my guess is that she was born just before or around the outset of the Civil War.

Old School Southern Lady Wray Plantation Greene County GA Dorothea Lange July 1937 Library of Congress Georgia in the Great Depression Website Brian Brown Vanishing Media 2013

Old School Southern Lady on Porch of Wray Plantation Greene County GA Dorothea Lange July 1937 Library of Congress Georgia in the Great Depression Website Brian Brown Vanishing Media 2013

Old Southern Lady Wray Plantation Greene County GA Dorothea Lange July 1937 Library of Congress Georgia in the Great Depression Website Brian Brown Vanishing Media 2013

Dorothea Lange/Library of Congress (1937)

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