This photograph is of one Allie Mae Burroughs, taken in either 1936. Burroughs lives in Hale County, Alabama. She works as a sharecropper and at the time was constantly in debt, and owned practically nothing. There isn’t a set title for her pictures as I found quite a few versions.

The photographer is Walker Evans who at the time was employed by the Farm Security Administration to document the plight of the poor farmers in America during the time of the Depression. He took four photographs of this woman against the rear wall of her home. Her face is worn from years of little food and hard work. Her hair does not appear to be washed, and her dress looks threadbare. Though each photograph of her looks the same, her expression makes each photograph stand by itself as it’s own work of art, rather than a collection.

I chose this photograph among the others as I feel her expression reveals more about the Great Depression. She looks almost annoyed that her picture is being taken at all, when there are more important things to be done. Walker Evans stayed as a guest in her home for a few weeks in August 1936, and had to convince Burroughs to let her picture be taken. I love this picture for it’s humility. It is not a shot of people working hard to earn their food or stereotypically saddened by their surroundings. Burroughs shows that there is an impatience in the poor. That they are willing and waiting for the opportunity to continue living.


Here is a nice bit of info about this woman.