The man’s clothes were new – all of them, cheap and new. His gray cap was so new that the visor was still stiff and the button still on, not shapeless and bulged as it would be when it had served for a while all the various purposes of a cap – carrying sack, towel, handkerchief. His suit was of cheap gray hardcloth and so new that there were creases in the trousers.
James Agee’s seminal novel Let Us Now Praise Famous Men was published in 1941 with Walker Evans’ poignant photographs at the height of the Great Depression. During Franklin Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’ program, the pair were commissioned for eight weeks in America’s South to document the living conditions of sharecropper workers.