Sharecropping and Debt
In the fall of 1865, President Andrew Johnson overturned General William Sherman’s Special Field Order Number 15, which promised to newly freed enslaved people that “each family shall have a plot of not more than 40 acres of tillable land.” As a consequence of Johnson’s revocation, land seized by the Union army was returned to its former Confederate owners, forcing many Black families to become sharecroppers.
In 1890, what percentage of white farmers were sharecroppers or tenants? What percentage of Black farmers?
The front page of The Chicago Defender, October 11, 1919, documenting the killings of Black families in Elaine, Arkansas. This excerpt was found in the scrapbook of Arkansas Governer Charles Brough.
What are ways that people continued to extract wealth from Black Americans after slavery was abolished?
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