SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Gee's Bend: 1937

Gee's Bend: 1937

February 1937. Gee's Bend, Alabama. Descendants of former slaves of the Pettway Plantation. They are still living under primitive conditions there. Meat in sacks hangs from tree limbs to be cured. Medium format nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Gee's Bend and Civil Rights

Here is a great article on Gee's Bend and the amazing quilts that come from there.

I have been thinking about this article since published the picture of the Gee's Bend Ferry...

This paragraph contains one of the most chilling comments I have ever heard. I don't think I will ever forget it.

Many who marched or registered to vote in rural Alabama in the 1960s lost their jobs. Some even lost their homes. And the residents of Gee's Bend, 60 miles southwest of Montgomery, lost the ferry that connected them to Camden and a direct route to the outside world. "We didn't close the ferry because they were black," Sheriff Lummie Jenkins reportedly said at the time. "We closed it because they forgot they were black."

I am a newcomer to Shorpy, and I love the amazing photographs...but I am also glad that it provides a forum to remember both the good and bad of American history.

Gee's Bend

Gee's Bend was perceived by many of the academics of the day as a pure distillation of slavery. The New Deal saw them like the exotic, mysterious folk found in deepest Amazon or darkest Africa. The FSA project that was created there was entirely different from all the other 1930s projects because of these perceptions.

The Pettway Plantation was purchased in 1937 by the FSA and a full project was developed there including schools, store, blacksmith shop and cooperative cotton gin.

The photo shows the "swept yard" of the cabins and the China Berry tree where meat was stored as part of the curing process. Gee's Bend still exists as an African American community in Alabama.

Gee's Bend

Guess there wasn't too much to do after dark except....

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.