Picture of the Week—Alabama Science Class, 1939

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I was nosing through the Library of Congress’s collection of photographs earlier this week when I came upon this one labeled “Student in science class. Gee's Bend, Alabama.” It was taken in May 1939 by Marion Post Wolcott, who documented poverty during the Great Depression for the Farm Security Administration. I was struck by the simple nature of the classroom and wondered whether any of these girls continued to study science or perhaps encouraged their own daughters to do so. Or maybe they became part of the Gee’s Bend quilters, who saw fame a few years ago when their colorful creations toured art museums around the country. So many possibilities.

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