What Beyoncé's 'Formation' might look like if it were set in the 1930s.

There is no better way to celebrate Black History Month than with historic photographs from an era long-gone ... and Beyoncé.

The photos are publicly available for the first time thanks to the recently digitized collection from the Farm Security Administration, which captured America on film from the mid-1930s to 1942. Along with other agencies' photos, the collection totals more than 170,000 pictures

The images below offer a rare glimpse into the lives of African-American workers and families. Many were employed as sharecroppers or tenant farmers, but landowners often kept these farmers in their debt, leaving many hardworking families poverty-stricken. Conditions worsened with the Great Depression, as African-American workers were hit especially hard. By 1932, nearly half were out of work. It was a bleak period in history, but it laid the groundwork for many of the labor movements and civil rights protests to come. 


Like these photographs, Beyoncé's latest single, "Formation," (written by Queen B and Swae Lee) perfectly captures a spirit that is strong, fearless, and unapologetically black. 

In the spirit of Black History Month, why not experience the two together?

"Y'all haters corny with that Illuminati mess."

Natchez, Mississippi, 1940. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh."

Watching the Columbia-Navy football game in Annapolis, Maryland. Photo by John Vachon/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"I'm so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin')."

Church Sunday in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1935. Photo by Ben Shahn/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"My daddy Alabama"

Reading classes in Gee's Bend, Alabama, 1939. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"Momma Louisiana. You mix that Negro with that Creole make a Texas bama."

A sharecropper's home in Independence, Louisiana, 1939. Photo by Lee Russell/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"I like my baby heir with baby hair and Afros. I like my Negro nose with Jackson 5 nostrils."

Lee County, Mississippi, 1935. Photo by Arthur Rothstein/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"Earned all this money but they never take the country out me. "

Fuquay Springs, North Carolina, 1935. Photo by Arthur Rothstein/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"I got hot sauce in my bag, swag."

Clarksdale, Mississippi, 1939. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"I like corn breads and collard greens"

Washing greens in Belle Glade, Florida, 1941. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"Oh, yes, you besta believe it."

Granville County, North Carolina, 1939. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"I see it, I want it"

"I stunt, yellow-bone it."

A woman works at a factory in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo by Jack Delano/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"I dream it."

"I work hard."

A woman teaches lessons in her home in Transylvania, Louisiana, 1939. Photo by Russell Lee/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"I grind till I own it."

Memphis, Tennessee, 1938. Photo by Lee Russell/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"Sometimes I go off (I go off)"

Singing during the collection at a black church in Heard County, Georgia. Photo by Jack Delano/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"I go hard (I go hard)"

A man removes seeds from a cotton gin in Clarksdale, Mississippi, 1939. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"Get what's mine (take what's mine)"

A man buys supplies from a mobile general store in Forrest City, Arkansas, 1938. Photo by Russell Lee/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"I'm a star (I'm a star)"

Students in Omar, West Virginia. Photo by Ben Shahn/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"'Cause I slay, slay"

"I slay, hey, I slay, OK"

Friends gather at a juke joint in Clarksdale, Mississippi, 1939. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"I slay, OK, all day, OK."

Unloading tobacco in Durham, North Carolina, 1939. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"I slay, OK, I slay, OK."

Easter morning, Chicago. Photo by Russell Lee/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"We gon' slay, slay"

The bar at the Palm Tavern in Chicago, 1941. Photo by Russell Lee/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"We slay, OK."

Swimming in the fountain at Union Station in Washington, D.C., 1938. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"OK, ladies, now let's get in formation. 'Cause I slay."

National Youth Administration meeting in Chicago. Photo by Russell Lee/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"OK, ladies, now let's get in formation. 'Cause I slay."

Fourth- and fifth-grade students in Georgia, 1939. Photo by Marion Post Walcott/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"Prove to me you got some coordination."

Construction workers in Washington, D.C., 1941. Photo by John Collier/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"I might get your song played on the radio station. 'Cause I slay."

A blind street musician performs in West Memphis, Arkansas, 1935. Photo by Ben Shahn/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"I might get your song played on the radio station. 'Cause I slay."

John Dyson plays the accordion in Maryland, 1940. Photo by John Vachon/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"You might just be a black Bill Gates in the making. 'Cause I slay."

A farmer with his family and mule team in Flint River Hills, Georgia, 1939. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"I might just be a black Bill Gates in the making. 'Cause I slay."

A young girl works on a sewing project in Creek County, Oklahoma,1940. Photo by Russell Lee/U.S. Farm Security Administration.

"Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper."

A former slave in her home in Greensboro, North Carolina, 1941. Photo by Jack Delano/U.S. Farm Security Administration

Don't let Black History Month end without checking out the rest of these incredible photographs.

There are hundreds more where these came from, and you can access all of them for free courtesy of the New York Public Library. 

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.