Saturday, October 30, 2010

1923 Picking Cotton

Working picking cotton was back-breaking labor, inspiring the old saying “sure beats picking cotton.” Fingers would be pricked on sharp prongs which held the soft white cotton firmly inside the boll. It might take a family one whole day to pick the cotton from a long, seemingly endless, row of plants.

On the most part, the images I’ve recovered from books from long ago, portray the cotton pickers as a happy lot. This print is quite different. The two young boys in the foreground appear haunted by misery; their elders in the background, heads bent, lost in their work, as the sky above appears cloudy and announces an impending storm.

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