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You Can't Eat FreedomSoutherners and Social Justice After the Civil Rights Movement$
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Greta de Jong

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469629308

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469629308.001.0001

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The Man Don’t Need Me Anymore

The Man Don’t Need Me Anymore

From Free Labor to Displaced Persons

Chapter:
(p.18) Chapter 1 The Man Don’t Need Me Anymore
Source:
You Can't Eat Freedom
Author(s):

Greta de Jong

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469629308.003.0002

This chapter describes the extreme hardships facing plantation workers as a result of agricultural mechanization and economic reprisals against people who were involved in civil rights activism in the 1960s. Southern welfare and economic development policies were designed to encourage black out-migration from the region, enabling wealthy white families whose fortunes were built on exploiting black labor to avoid responsibility for those workers once they were no longer needed. At the same time, reducing the number of African Americans living in the plantation counties helped minimize the threat posed by black political empowerment. By the mid-1960s, these policies had forced hundreds of thousands of African Americans to leave the region and generated rising unemployment and poverty rates for those who remained.

Keywords:   Agricultural mechanization, Civil rights, Plantation workers, Poverty, Unemployment, Welfare

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