Category: Federal Writers Project

The Washwoman

February 1, 1939 Sarah Hill (Negro) 157 Church Street Athens, Georgia Wash Woman Sadie B. Hornsby Dee, Bea, The Wash Woman When I reached Sarah’s house, and knocked at the front door, three voices greet me. “Here we is come “round to the back.” I made my way to the back yard, jumping a mud hole in the walk, walking in the grass that mired down every step I took. It had been raining lots that week, however, the sun was shining on that particular afternoon. In the back yard two negro girls were bending over old fashion wash tubs …

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Bargain House

February 16, 1939 J. Buford Dudley (white) 124 Thomas St. Athens, Ga. Merchant Grace McCune, writer As I walked down a side street in the business section of town, looking for something interesting to get a story about, a large sign swinging out in front of a store drew my attention. Fastened on a rod, it was swinging in the wind and boldly announcing to the world that “Every day is a Bargain day here.” In the window was a display of most everything that is carried in a dry good and ready to wear store. Yet it was very …

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Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1940

These life histories were compiled and transcribed by the staff of the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers’ Project for the U.S. Works Progress (later Work Projects) Administration (WPA) from 1936-1940. The Library of Congress collection includes 2,900 documents representing the work of over 300 writers from 24 states. Typically 2,000-15,000 words in length, the documents consist of drafts and revisions, varying in form from narrative to dialogue to report to case history. The histories describe the informant’s family education, income, occupation, political views, religion and morals, medical needs, diet and miscellaneous observations. Pseudonyms are often substituted for individuals and …

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An Air-Minded Family

March 6, 1939 Mrs. Omie Williams Epps (White) 892 Hill Street Athens, Georgia Saleslady Writer: Sadie B. Hornsby I asked the taxi driver if he knew just where Mrs. Edwards lived? “Yes mam.” At the same time stopping in front of a one-story red brick house, with the woodwork printed white. Hyacinths, forsythia and jonquils were in full bloom. These flowers [bordered?] the spacious lawn that was green with glass, low shrubbery surrounded the house. [?] There was a lattice fence with an opening just large enough for a car to go through, screened the back yard from the front, …

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