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The Louisville Flood


Margaret Bourke-White, The Louisville Flood, 1937. Gelatin silver print mounted on board, 9 11/16 × 13 3/8 in. (24.6 × 34 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Sean Callahan  92.58
©Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images
Margaret Bourke-White was one of the first successful woman photojournalists. In January 1937, while she was working for Life magazine, the Ohio River flooded the city and surrounding areas of Louisville, Kentucky. Bourke-White was sent to Louisville to take pictures of the different communities affected by the flood. Bourke-White composed this photograph to highlight the contrast between the African American survivors of the flood as they waited in line for help, and the imaginary white family in the car with their dog, enjoying the “World’s Highest Standard of Living…The American Way."
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