By Nan Elizabeth Woodruff
This can be the tale of ways rural black humans struggled opposed to the oppressive sharecropping process of the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta throughout the first 1/2 the 20th century. the following, white planters solid a global of terror and poverty for black staff, person who resembled the terrible deprivations of the African Congo below Belgium's King Leopold II. Delta planters didn't bring to an end the heads and fingers in their African American employees yet, aided by way of neighborhood legislations enforcement, they engaged in peonage, homicide, robbery, and disfranchisement. As contributors and during collective fight, along side nationwide agencies just like the NAACP and native teams just like the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union, black women and men fought again, difficult a simply go back for his or her plants and laying declare to a democratic imaginative and prescient of citizenship. Their efforts have been amplified by way of the 2 global wars and the melancholy, which improved the mobility and monetary possibilities of black humans and provoked federal involvement within the quarter. Nan Woodruff indicates how the liberty opponents of the Nineteen Sixties may draw in this half-century culture of protest, therefore increasing our regular notions of the civil rights circulate and illuminating a overlooked yet good portion of the yank black adventure. (20040301)
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Extra resources for American Congo: The African American Freedom Struggle in the Delta
The families worked on Sundays, never received any money, and never were given a settlement. As in slavery days, some men ran away and later sent for their families. Guards threatened to kill anyone who tried to leave or who came to take the people away. Although Lilly, Robertson, and Bailey were arrested and tried for peonage, a Jonesboro jury acquitted them after one hour of deliberation. S. ” Revealing the frontier atmosphere of the region, the attorney noted that this was the first federal court ever held in the town, thus a “laxity” in the administration of the law prevailed.
At the monthly meetings, the managers and the accountants discussed the accounts, general matters of policy, labor problems, stock and feed issues, and the sanitary and health reports of two resident physicians. According to Fox, “During cotton picking time it is necessary to have these meetings each week. We must know just how The Forging of the Alluvial Empire 25 25 much cotton is picked on each plantation during the week so as to provide against labor shortages. If there is not enough labor available on the plantations for the picking we must send for it.
Despite Percy’s efforts to initially charm and then intimidate the Yankee reformer, Quackenbos found evidence of peonage. While Percy fancied himself a civilized man, he undoubtedly engaged in the practices of his fellow planters. ” Revealing the national power that some Delta planters wielded, Percy called on his friend President Theodore Roosevelt to reign in Quackenbos. But Percy did not limit his campaign against federal investigators with a visit to the president. He intimidated an immigration agent and ruined his investigation in the region, prompting the Mississippi congressional delegation to attack Quackenbos as similarly biased.