You think we have it rough now? Let’s take a look back for a moment. A World War, the Spanish flu which killed 675,000 people in our country that was only 40% of today’s population, discrimination, poll taxes, literacy tests, Jim Crow, the second coming of the Ku Klux Klan and the Great Depression. That’s about as rough as it gets, and it is clear from these photos “Birmingham, Alabama (1932)“. Research indicates that this was Aunt Harriet’s house. The destruction of the fireplace is evident by the pile of bricks seen in the first and third photos. Perhaps they were to be re-used elsewhere, so this scene in the second photo predates the first and third photos. Anyone want to trade places?
The scenes of poverty presented here could have come from any number of cities in the United States. One might suspect Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, Philadelphia or Los Angeles at first glance, but the locale for this essay was Norfolk, Virginia. It would be easy to say that the situation in the inner cities has improved, but the truth of the matter is that the conditions causing this poverty remain mostly unchanged throughout the decades before and after these images were taken. This “Inner City” essay is now included in our Americana collection.