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The Senator and the SharecropperThe Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland and Fannie Lou Hamer$
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Chris Myers Asch

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807872024

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807878057_asch

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“The Pendulum Is Swinging Back”

“The Pendulum Is Swinging Back”

Chapter:
(p.253) 9 “The Pendulum Is Swinging Back”
Source:
The Senator and the Sharecropper
Author(s):

Chris Myers Asch

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807878057_asch.14

This chapter focuses on the twentieth century and how so much changed on the surface of Sunflower County during the time. Forest gave way to farmland, hand labor yielded to machines, gravel lost out to asphalt, family-run general stores surrendered to corporate chains. Underneath it all lay one constant: the land itself, the deep, rich soil that first had lured white and black settlers to the area and seduced them into braving predators and pestilence in hopes of earning a fortune. Though agricultural scientists have boosted its production with performance-enhancing chemicals, Sunflower County's soil in the twenty-first century remains a marvel of nature. Farmers still grouse about the relative difficulty of growing crops on the crumbly “gumbo” or “buckshot” soil inland, but they can hardly complain about the sandy loam soils along the county's streams that continue to produce ever-greater yields of cotton, soybeans, corn, and rice.

Keywords:   twentieth century, Sunflower County, hand labor, corporate chains, rich soil, black settlers

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