Race Relations

American Congo: The African American Freedom Struggle in the by Nan Elizabeth Woodruff PDF

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By Nan Elizabeth Woodruff

ISBN-10: 0674010477

ISBN-13: 9780674010475

This is often the tale of the way rural black humans struggled opposed to the oppressive sharecropping procedure of the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta in the course of the first half the 20th century. the following, white planters cast a global of terror and poverty for black staff, person who resembled the awful deprivations of the African Congo less than Belgium's King Leopold II. Delta planters didn't bring to a halt the heads and arms in their African American staff yet, aided through neighborhood legislation enforcement, they engaged in peonage, homicide, robbery, and disfranchisement. As members and during collective fight, along with nationwide companies just like the NAACP and native teams just like the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union, black women and men fought again, tough a simply go back for his or her vegetation and laying declare to a democratic imaginative and prescient of citizenship. Their efforts have been amplified by way of the 2 international wars and the melancholy, which increased the mobility and financial possibilities of black humans and provoked federal involvement within the sector. Nan Woodruff exhibits how the liberty opponents of the Nineteen Sixties might draw in this half-century culture of protest, therefore increasing our general notions of the civil rights move and illuminating a missed yet significant portion of the yankee black event. (20040301)

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Faced with new job options outside of the plantation, too, laborers who remained on the land bargained for better cotton picking wages, driving them in 1917 from a prewar sixty cents to two dollars per hundred pounds picked. 14 The increased competition for labor allowed workers to test planters’ authority over them. Sharecroppers in Arkansas refused to accept the traditional arrangement that paid croppers once a year at the end of the harvest. ”15 In Desha County, landlords blamed high wages for “irregular” work habits.

Workers no longer had to wait for the commissary days on every other Saturday to buy their goods. They now had cash that was good at any store in the nearby towns, where they could shop on any day they chose. In short, landowners were losing control over the consumptive power of their workers and the profits that followed. If wartime wages continued after the conflict ended, the planters stood to see an important part of their authority eroded, something they might never be able to recapture. Rural laborers’ refusal to work on planter-defined terms, and their determination to claim their family and leisure time as their own, concerned not only employers, but also the federal government.

And in the 1920s, the League of Nations asked the International Labor Organization to investigate forced and compulsory labor in the colonies. 1 Delta planters may not have imagined the war’s final outcome, but they realized enough to rethink their labor strategy. Some continued with their 40 40 AMERICAN CONGO rule of terror, but others followed their counterparts in industry by introducing welfare capitalism to the plantation world. And the more prescient, realizing that the liberal state would not recede after the war’s end, found ways to shape federal policies as they related to the plantation economy.

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American Congo: The African American Freedom Struggle in the Delta by Nan Elizabeth Woodruff


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