aka YA Literature

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Story Behind the Photo

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal had an article entitled "Does Her Face Foretell Her Fate." The article explains that this photo ("Lucille Burroughs, Daughter of a Cotton Sharecropper. Hale County, Alabama") is one of 95 portraits chosen for the NYPL's photographic exhibition "Recollection." I found the article really interesting for many reasons, but (a) I'm actually surprised that in talking about the photo's power and history, no one mentioned that it graces the cover of Karen Hesse's Newberry Award-winning Out of the Dust, and (b) I never really thought about the photo as historic. I guess I never gave it that much thought at all, but I certainly never realized it was part of an effort to document the Dust Bowl in photographs.

I think it would be interesting to have students talk or write about the photo and to hypothesize about things like where she lives, what her name is, who took the picture, why they took the picture, and what became of the girl when she grew up. Then they could compare their hypotheses to the actual Lucille Burroughs in the picture.

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