It doesn't to most people. To most Americans, "The Great Depression" conjures pictures of white men in breadlines. Or white men hopping freights. This seven-year-old black boy pushing a plow so that his family can have a garden to grow food is, if not surprising, at least unexpected.
Most of us have an internal visual history that resembles a kind of jumbled slide show. Say “American Revolution” and we see in our minds “Washington Crossing the Delaware.” From old text books and PBS specials, we have images for “The Dust Bowl,” and “World War II” and “The Civil Rights Movement.” They’re not always clear, but they’re effective. They make us believe we know what America once was and what it has been through.
However, the slide show of our past is distorted. Many specific faces were left out–the faces of children, women, people of color and many others. We believe that changing that slide show of history is one of the most powerful ways we have of changing our sense of who we are in this country. That's why we offer so many ways to help you learn about and access historical images.