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Rusell Lee in New Iberia
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Russell Lee in New Iberia
In 1939, photographer Russell Lee visited New Iberia, LA for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). He and other legendary FSA photographers documented American life during the Great Depression. The FSA was a New Deal program created to assist poor and destitute farmers during the Dust Bowl and the Depression.

Documentary Sections
Bitter Times  |   Danger, Violence, Exploitation  |   "Behind the Veil"  |  
Keeping the Past  |   Resistance  |   Whites Remember Jim Crow  |  

Whites Remember Jim Crow

Memories of Jim Crow naturally depend on who's doing the remembering. Southern whites who lived in the segregation era sometimes offer startlingly different recollections to those of African Americans, much the way a black and white film negative looks directly opposite the final print. In the southwestern Louisiana town of New Iberia, older whites tend to remember segregation as a benign social system. They say race relations were more peaceful during Jim Crow than they are now because blacks and whites understood their place within the social order. Some whites remember blacks getting unfair treatment under segregation, but few feel responsible or express remorse for black suffering. To most whites in Iberia Parish, Jim Crow operated beyond their control. Virtually all say their town's Jim Crow history is irrelevant to contemporary race relations.

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Henry Dauterive
Henry Dauterive

Leonard Barrow
Leonard Barrow

Deanne and Smitty Landry
Deanne and Smitty Landry


Interview Excerpts
(Real Audio, How to Listen)
Never Shook Hands Leonard Barrow, 1:50
Learning the Color Line Henry Dauterive, 1:17
We Did Not Know Deanne and Smitty Landry, 0:29
Our Negroes were Happy Mary Levaux, 0:41
Let's Move On Deanne and Smitty Landry, 0:45
Missing Out on Slavery Leonard Barrow, 1:13

Kate Ellis Reporter's Notebook
Anthropologist Kate Ellis traveled to New Iberia, LA during 1994, 1995, and 1996 to interview older African Americans and whites about their memories of the Jim Crow years.

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