What a “Life” This Is: An African American Girl Comes of Age during the Great Depression in Urban America

  • Wilma King


Throughout 1931, fifteen-year-old Hattie Lee Cochran recorded methodical summaries of her daily activities in a slim clothbound volume. The “Ready Reference Diary” contained a cornucopia of data ranging from details about the Boy Scout Movement to judging distance by sound. The diary featured helpful tidbits of information printed at the bottom of each blank page. Yet, these dry factoids pale in comparison to the wealth of information conveyed by Cochran’s writings that fill the pages above them. Her daily entries reveal a tremendous amount about the life of an African American girl who came of age in urban America during the Great Depression.1


Sugar Corn Dust Depression Carbohydrate 
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© Wilma King 2005

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  • Wilma King

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