Soul Of A People
1 x 90'
At the height of the Great Depression in the US, thousands found relief through the Works Progress Administration. For most, it was manual labour, but for others the tools were pen and paper. The WPA Federal Writers’ Project recruited a diverse group of out-of-work authors, old newspaper writers, former schoolteachers, and typists, and assigned them the task of documenting America’s history. They interviewed citizens and produced the first-ever portrait of America in a series of state travel guides.
The America they uncovered was far from the glossy tourist pamphlets, but a diverse tapestry which proved controversial to many. The critics found a voice in Texas Congressman Martin Dies, and with the clouds of WWII and the House Un-American Activities Committee hearing looming, and the project was disbanded.
But while the men and women of the Writers’ Project were assembling guides and interviews, they were also knitting together the cultural fabric torn apart by the national crisis of the Great Depression. From that experience, some of America’s great writers found their own voices and discovered the Soul of a People.
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