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Black Workers’ Responses to Displacement and Out-Migration
This chapter describes how social justice activists responded to the economic crisis in the rural South by publicizing widespread hunger and poverty and pressuring the federal government to act. African Americans who had lived and worked in the plantation counties for generations made it clear that they did not want to leave and argued that they had a right to remain in their home communities instead of being forced to move elsewhere to look for jobs. They proposed alternatives to out-migration that called for increased public expenditures on education, job training, and improved social programs for displaced workers. Their lobbying and clear evidence of the misery that resulted from the policies pursued by state and local governments in the plantation regions convinced the federal government to step up antipoverty efforts.
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