linoleum cut, Sheet: 28.50 x 24.00 cm (11 3/16 x 9 7/16 inches); Image: 21.60 x 15.20 cm (8 1/2 x 5 15/16 inches). Gift from funds of various donors to the Department of Prints and Drawings 2000.95
Catlett wrote boldly about her work: "[My] purpose is to present black people in their beauty and dignity for ourselves and others to understand and enjoy and to exhibit my work where black people can visit and find art to which they can relate."
Catlett won a Julius Rosenwald Fellowship to go to Mexico City in 1946 and work at the Taller de Gráfica Popular (People's Graphic Art Workshop). There she produced The Negro Woman series of 15 linocuts, which includes I Have Always Worked Hard in America, a historical celebration of the oppression, resistance, survival, and achievements of African American women.