Photographer Matt Black (@MattBlack_Matt) grew up in California’s Central Valley and has spent much of his professional career documenting the area. The Central Valley comprises less than 1 percent of the nation’s farmland, yet it produces a quarter of the nation’s food. The drought has seriously affected the Central Valley.

Black has been taking photographs “documenting the drought’s impact on communities that he believes rarely receive the attention they deserve.” In this piece for NPR’s Morning Edition, some of Black’s photographs are featured in a photo essay. They evoke the images taken by photographers employed by the U.S. Farm Security Administration and the U.S. Resettlement Administration during the Great Depression (think of Dorothea Lange).

Black told NPR’s Morning Edition (@MorningEdition) recently:

“What I’ve seen is this landscape of abundance become this landscape of scarcity,” he says.

And this:

His images show a region covered with dust and tumbleweeds. “It strikes you kind of at a very visceral level to go to a place that not too many years ago was green and lush and full of food,” he says. “This landscape has been humbled.”


A stunning piece, not to be missed.


Related Links:

A conversation with Pulitzer Prize winner Diana Marcum

Counter Histories: the civil rights movement and restaurant desegregation

Project documents work of women in agriculture