Lewis Hine’s early 20th-century “photo stories”

Lewis Wickes Hine’s photographs of child labor captured the oppressive working conditions and living conditions of thousands of American children over a century ago. Although the pictures might look like an embarrassing past left unconquered by Americans, Hine’s work remains relevant today, with reports of child labor violations on the rise and a surge of unaccompanied minors, mainly from Central America, working in the US. Hine’s muckraking photographs serve as a genre of documentary photography, relying upon photography’s perceived truthfulness to make changes for social justice. But, a key distinction between the photographs of the early 20th century and today’s child labor crisis is race.


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