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Description - American Congo by Nan Elizabeth Woodruff

This is the story of how rural black people struggled against the oppressive sharecropping system of the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta during the first half of the 20th century. Here white planters forged a world of terror and poverty for black workers, one that resembled the horrific deprivations of the African Congo under Belgium's King Leopold II. Delta planters did not cut off the heads and hands of their African-American workers but, aided by local law enforcement, they engaged in peonage, murder, theft and disfranchisement. As individuals and through collective struggle, in conjunction with national organizations like the NAACP and local groups like the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union, black men and women fought back, demanding a just return for their crops and laying claim to a democratic vision of citizenship. Their efforts were amplified by the two world wars and the Depression, which expanded the mobility and economic opportunities of black people and provoked federal involvement in the region. Nan Woodruff shows how the freedom fighters of the 1960s would draw on this half-century tradition of protest, thus expanding our standard notions of the civil rights movement and illuminating a neglected but significant slice of the American black experience.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674010475
ISBN-10: 0674010477
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 155mm x mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jul-2003
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Nan Elizabeth Woodruff

Nan Elizabeth Woodruff is Associate Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University.

Books By Nan Elizabeth Woodruff

American Congo by Nan Elizabeth Woodruff
Paperback, February 2012
Booker T. Washington Papers by Nan Elizabeth Woodruff
Hardback, June 1981
Booker T. Washington Papers Volume 9 by Nan Elizabeth Woodruff
Hardback, June 1980