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Saturday, 25 June 2011

Russell Lee: South Side of Chicago, April 1941


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http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8c00000/8c00600/8c00661v.jpg
Tavern on South Side of Chicago, Illinois
: photo by Russell Lee, April 1941 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8c00000/8c00600/8c00634r.jpg

Negro swinging his girl on roller skates. Savoy Ballroom, Chicago, Illinois: photo by Russell Lee, April 1941
(Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8c00000/8c00600/8c00652r.jpg

Having fun at roller skating party at the Savoy Ballroom:
photo by Russell Lee, April 1941 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8c00000/8c00600/8c00687r.jpg

Having fun at rollerskating rink of Savoy Ballroom, Chicago, Illinois
: photo by Russell Lee, April 1941 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8c00000/8c00600/8c00666r.jpg

Rollerskating on Saturday night at the Savoy Ballroom, Chicago, Illinois
: photo by Russell Lee, April 1941 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8c00000/8c00600/8c00682v.jpg

Entertainers at Negro tavern, Chicago, Illinois
: photo by Russell Lee, April 1941 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8c00000/8c00600/8c00649r.jpg

Movie theater, South Side of Chicago
: photo by Russell Lee, April 1941 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8a29000/8a29800/8a29889v.jpg

Sign indicating that apartment house is being vacated by whites and will be rented to Negroes, Chicago, Illinois
: photo by Russell Lee, April 1941 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8a29000/8a29800/8a29885r.jpg

Repairing part of apartment building on South Side of Chicago, Illinois
: photo by Russell Lee, April 1941 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8c00000/8c00700/8c00707r.jpg

Back of apartment house rented to Negroes, South Side of Chicago, Illinois
: photo by Russell Lee, April 1941 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8c00000/8c00700/8c00730r.jpg

Front room of apartment rented by Negroes, Chicago, Illinois
: photo by Russell Lee, April 1941 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8c00000/8c00700/8c00748r.jpg

Detail of room gutted by fire in apartment house formerly rented by Negroes, Chicago, Illinois
: photo by Russell Lee, April 1941 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8c00000/8c00700/8c00779r.jpg

House on Federal Street in the Negro section of Chicago, Illinois
: photo by Russell Lee, April 1941 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8c00000/8c00800/8c00843r.jpg

House in the Negro section of Chicago, Illinois
: photo by Russell Lee, April 1941 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

15 comments:

u.v.ray. said...

Old photographs always arouse a sense of sadness in me.

A time that is simply gone. People living their lives. And everything, as it was, is no more.

And one day, our time will also be gone. We are just so fragile.

John B-R said...

I think the guitar player on the right in the 6th picture down is Lonnie Johnson ...

Dear uv ray, you are so right. Only thing is, we're already gone, at least our time is, we just don't (quite) know it ...

John B-R said...

Only a fadograph of a yestern scene ...

Finnegans Wake 7.15

TC said...

John, Great knowledge. That's Lonnie Johnson on the right, and I believe the other player is his rhythm guitarist, Dan Dixon.

Only a fadograph of a yestern scene ... Eggs-ackly!


Ray. Yes that sadness, and the sense of time disappearing beneath our feet. There is an obscure fascination in unearthing the lost life of the past. How people lived and worked and took their pleasure (and pain), where they lived, all the little details. These photos come from an uncatalogued "lot" hid away deep in the FSA archive (which holds some 160,000 black & white prints and negatives), so that, in the process of the search, one feels one is opening the door to a room where no one's been for a long, long time.

TC said...

Here is the man himself, with a tune recorded in the same year Russell Lee shot that photo. (The photo with the video dates from, I would reckon, c. 1962 -- that is, some two decades later.)

Lonnie Johnson: That's Love (1941)

Barry Taylor said...

All that roller-skating. Amazing how hard it is to stop people finding ways to fly.

TC said...

In that time and place, you had to find your wings where you had earned them.

curtisroberts said...

This latest round of Depression images from these masters has been (unhappily, though I'm hugely glad to have seen them) on my mind. This will sound odd, perhaps, but when I visited one of Manhattan's fancier precincts -- the area between Madison and Third Avenues bordered by East 55th and 65th Streets – on Thursday, unmistakeable signs of severe economic depression abounded. I mentioned this to some friends who rounded on me pretty aggressively, insisting that no such thing was taking place. They're all in New York every day, are fully employed or very well off, and either don't or refuse to see it. The creaking void feeling even extended to a couple of business meetings that took place in offices that used to be lively and noisy on a daily basis. Well, it's a beautiful morning. I need to get in the car again to drive north before driving south tomorrow.

Ed Baker said...

Ias born
April 19, 1941

& by about age 5 was roller-skating

with those steel skates (that we used to take apart and use as wheels for our soap-box "cars"

&
always carried a skate-kee on a string around my neck

these 1941 kids are it seems to me very well off

we couldn't afford to go to a roller skate rink

Ed Baker said...

here is a pair of skates very much except no red on mine just like mine:
http://futuresantiques.com/items/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=18875&g2_serialNumber=2

Ed Baker said...

well

here is a soap box scooter VERY much like the one that I built
http://www.crazyskateboardinggames.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/fruit-crate-scooter.jpg

except mine had "steering" handles with tassels hanging down

and lots of soda-bottle caps tacked to the box

I ran around my neighborhood and beyond with

Bo Clinton, Bobbie McDonald, Robert E. Lee, Winfred Owens, Roslind Binder, Jimmy Wallace ... and me..


we were a CLUB VERY much h like the gang in the OUR GANG movies...

TC said...

Curtis, New York may as well be Jupiter to me now, but here the severe economic depression is pretty darn hard to miss, whether you're a part of it or merely have to step over or drive past it.


Ed, well, I was born in that time and that place and went to a rink like that one, but over in Cicero, where I don't recall anyone appearing particularly well off, and the motive (mine anyway) as pretty much amounting to not embarrassing yourself... TOO badly.

Ed Baker said...

ahhh... you went to a roller-skating rink in 1941 ?
In Cicero?

You must'uve been the youngest skater ther... sy, maybe 6ix months ld?

I didn't go to a roller-skating rink until about 1958..

it was the Queenstown Roller Rink over on Queens Chapel Road

right next to the Queenstown Drive In

I went with Anita. She wore a pink-fuzzy-short-sleeve sweater
and a short white skating-skirt.

I was about 17 .....

& also 'embarrassed' myself

TC said...

Edster,

No, I meant I was born there, as it happens, though not quite (West Side not South), almost but not quite then (a little before), but the roller skating embarrassments came later, and ... uh, you know. Roller skating rink epoch c. 1953/1954, a pre-cerebration nation of nothing but ducktail Romeos and their pink fuzzy Anitas.

(I envy your memory genius, I am hereby adopting all your remembrances in place of the billions that have... er, temporarily, right... slipt my mind.)

Ed Baker said...

well

here is my Roller Skate piece

http://edbaker.maikosoft.com/walk_thru_2007/00010/14.html

done in about 1999 !

1953? 1999? what are we
but our memories, eh ?