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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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“Cotton Is Dynamite”: New Deals in Sunflower County

“Cotton Is Dynamite”: New Deals in Sunflower County

(p.65) 3 “Cotton Is Dynamite”: New Deals in Sunflower County
The Senator and the Sharecropper

Chris Myers Asch

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the ubiquity of cotton in the twenty-first century; it is perhaps the most universally used agricultural product in the world. Yet relatively few Americans have ever seen the plant in its natural habitat. Take an autumn drive along sinuous Highway 49 from the Eastland plantation in Doddsville toward Fannie Lou Hamer's hometown five miles north, and you will see snowy fields stretching to the horizon as the year's cotton crop awaits the harvest that will culminate the annual cycle. Six months earlier, the stalks had started out as dark brown, balloon-shaped seeds, about the size of unpopped kernels of corn. Light green shoots bearing their trademark trident leaves burst from the soil just a few weeks later, reaching heights ranging from fourteen inches to six or seven feet. As the days turn humid and temperatures rise in midsummer, pink and white blossoms appear, shadowing the four-seamed, football-shaped bolls that begin to form along the branches.

Keywords:   cotton, agricultural product, Americans, natural habitat, Doddsville

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