Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The WPA Restored Dignity

"This horrible way of livin' with almost nothin' lasted up until Roosevelt...When the WPA came in, we soon got to work. The people, their own selves, as they would get jobs on WPA, they quit goin' to the relief station. They just didn't want the food. They'd go in and say, 'You know, this is my last week, 'cause I go to work next week.' The Negro and the white would do this, and it sort of simmered down until only people who were on relief were people who were disabled. Or the families where there weren't no man or no one to go out and work on the WPA."

--Emma Tiller, farmer who lived through the Great Depression, in "Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression," by Studs Terkel, 1970.

(Note: The WPA also made efforts to find work opportunities for the disabled.)    

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