Oklahoma Migrants

Dorothea Lange spent several years photographing depression America for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), particularly in California and then in the Dust Bowl region. While her portrait of the Migrant Mother is more famous than her photo below the images share many of the same qualities. Here you have a migrant father captured as he and his family were camped along side the rode shortly after entering California and after fleeing the ordeal of the Oklahoma dust.

To Start You Thinking -

  • 1) Describe as carefully as you can the man's posture, look, and expression. What do they say about his experience?

    2) Dorothea Lange's caption for her photos were simple narratives. Write your own caption for this photo giving your written sense of its content.

    3) Imagine that you were a writer working with Dorothea Lange as she took this picture. What questions would you like to ask this family?

Last modified in October, 2011 by Rick Thomas