By Nan Elizabeth Woodruff
This can be the tale of ways rural black humans struggled opposed to the oppressive sharecropping method of the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta throughout the first 1/2 the 20th century. the following, white planters solid an international of terror and poverty for black staff, person who resembled the bad deprivations of the African Congo lower than Belgium's King Leopold II. Delta planters didn't bring to a halt the heads and fingers in their African American employees yet, aided by way of neighborhood legislation enforcement, they engaged in peonage, homicide, robbery, and disfranchisement. As contributors and during collective fight, along with nationwide enterprises just like the NAACP and native teams just like the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union, black women and men fought again, hard 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 via the 2 international wars and the melancholy, which elevated the mobility and fiscal possibilities of black humans and provoked federal involvement within the quarter. Nan Woodruff exhibits how the liberty combatants of the Nineteen Sixties might draw in this half-century culture of protest, therefore increasing our commonplace notions of the civil rights stream and illuminating a overlooked yet significant portion of the yankee black event. (20040301)
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Additional info for American Congo: The African American Freedom Struggle in the Delta
It is not so much the older generation that it chafes. ”11 Despite these conditions, many black people remained in the Delta, for the increased need for foodstuffs and cotton created new opportunities and promised higher wages and prices for cotton crops. The migration northward increased the economic leverage for those left behind. Many moved within the region, from the countryside into towns or cities like Memphis, or back and forth across the Mississippi River, in search of higher wages and fairer prices for their cotton.
The minister also observed that a white man at Shelby had sent a colored man to Vicksburg for two quarts of whiskey and when he got off the train, a few men ordered him to stop. When the man refused, they shot him to death. And in Hollywood, a white doctor killed a “leading colored man” for merely disputing a small account. The physician shot the man three times in the back, then battered his head with an axe handle. 9 42 42 AMERICAN CONGO Police harassment wore many down, often creating conditions reminiscent of peonage.
S. 24 Federal wartime agencies, then—like the Committee for Public Information, the secretary of war’s Military Intelligence Division, and Herbert Hoover’s Food Administration Conser- Tensions of Empire 47 47 vation Campaigns—by operating through a decentralized structure of local committees, handed enormous power to a regional elite that hardly needed empowering. One of the major duties of the local citizens centered on drafting their men, ensuring they answered Uncle Sam’s call. While black people voluntarily went North to work in the factories, it is not clear that they voluntarily went into the military.
American Congo: The African American Freedom Struggle in the Delta by Nan Elizabeth Woodruff