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New York, New York. Portrait of Richard Wright, poet
The writer Richard Wright worked for the Federal Writers’ Projec

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The Works Progress Administration
April 8, 1935

A national works program meant that the federal government would give millions of people work by hiring them in projects to build things like schools, bridges, and parks that the public could use. The WPA hired 8.5 million people on 1.4 million projects in just a few years!

One part of the WPA was the Federal Writers' Project. This project gave work to writers who could not find a job. Many writers who worked for the Federal Writers’ Project became famous. Saul Bellow, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, and Ralph Ellison are some of the writers who became famous.

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CREDIT: Van Vechten, Carl, photographer. "Portrait of Orson Welles." March 1, 1937. Creative Americans: Portraits by Carl Van Vechten, 1932-1964, Library of Congress.