Claiming Citizenship: African Americans and Works Progress Administration

August 1 - September 30, 2010

Traveling Exhibit


The photographs in this exhibition illustrate the lives of African American people at work, at home, and in various public venues. Topics include: claiming/enacting; expertise and authority; public dignity; community bonds; rights to associate/organize; financial sovereignty; legal personhood.

Put more concretely, the photographs illustrate African Americans claiming citizenship by claiming the right to sustain family, earn a living wage, possess economic security, receive health care, be educated persons, purchase goods, engage in civic life, vote, and have a publicly acknowledged history.

Free and open to the public daily from August 1 to September 30, 2010, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, at Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, 1515 SE Monroe Street, Topeka, Kansas, 66612.

For more information, call the Brown Foundation at (785) 235-3939 or send an email by clicking here.

African American girl standing and reading with other children and teacher in the background.
Reading lesson in an African American school. Washington, D.C., March 1942.

Marjorie Collins

Two African American children being examined by a doctor with a nurse standing nearby.
Nursing and Visiting Housekeepers Health Week (Children’s Day) at Urban League Building.

Photograph used in Lincoln, Nebraska’s Sunday papers.

African American man looking through a surveyor's scope.
Civilian Conservation Corps enrollee. Beltsville, Maryland, 1940.
African American child standing in corn field.
One of the children of Farm Security Administration (FSA) client, Harry Handy. The plot of corn, as well as the rest of the garden, was provided by FSA aid.

Jack Delano

Three African American students using microscopes.
Students using microscopes at Bethune-Cookman College. Daytona Beach, Florida, 1943.

Gordon Parks

An African American man writing at a desk.
An African American youth doing some writing in a beginner's class in adult education. New Orleans, Louisiana, September 1936.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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1515 SE Monroe Street
Topeka, KS 66612-1143


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