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American Way

             In 1937, famous photojournalist Margaret Brooke White photographed a relief line after the Ohio flood, which happened during the Great Depression. She named this photo "The American Way." It was taken to show how the American myth of how to live and reality significantly differ.
             In the background of this photograph, there is a billboard that supposedly shows how the American life should be (the American myth). On the billboard there is a happy white family, smiling ear to ear, driving an expensive car. They are all properly dressed and they are wearing classy hats. The billboard states, "There is no way like the American Way" and "World's highest standard of living." These statements suggest to spectators that to live the American way you would have to be white, have a perfect family, always be happy, have a nice car, and be able to dress stylish. In other words, if you were black and you didn"t have money, or if you were just black period, you were not living the highest standard of living and that is not "the American Way." .
             In front of this billboard stand several black people in a relief line; there is not even one single white person. They are all waiting for some assistance; this is not the "American way," a white person would not need assistance (that is what the billboard wants you to believe). It is the period of the Great Depression, so not any of these people are smiling, not any of them are in cars, and not any of them are dressed fancy. However, they all are wearing hats, but they are not stylish like the white family is wearing in the billboard. So basically, they have no qualities or possessions that the people living the American Way would possess. So the reality of what life is like is not anything close to the myth of what life should be like.
             Although the billboard is supposed to be reality, it is a myth. Life was not just white people driving in cars. Even back in that time period there were different cultures in America.

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