Juke Joints or “Be yourself” places. Photos by Bill Steber
Jitterbugging in a juke joint on Saturday afternoon. Clarksdale, Mississippi Delta, November 1939
Marion Post Wolcott, photographer
The presence of the white police officer in the photograph is jarring. Why is he here? Is he meant to protect the photographer? Wolcott was a twenty-nine-year-old white woman traveling alone. Or perhaps he was there to keep her, a Northerner, from being a bad influence on the black folks in the community. It’s an interesting photo, to say the least. And as many of Wolcott’s photographs do, it suggests meaning beyond the surface.
Photo source: Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)