Friday, March 17, 2017

Share croppers


Sharecropping throughout the South, began to die out during the 40s and 50s.

My father worked several years doing sharecropping, In the State of Kentucky, he didn't own any land, so that became a good way for him to make extra money

Growing Burley tobacco requires a lot of work, from the time it is set out in early summer, until it is harvested  in late August.

Burley tobacco was one of the crops farmers often turned over to share croppers.

The tobacco is set out plant by plant and harvested plant by plant.

And is slowly air-cured in Barnes, to remove  the moisture  from the leaves before it can be sent to market .

The total number of pounds any farmer could sell in a given year was determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture·

When it was dry and ready for market.

There were several different grades from each plant, and each grade was assigned a price, based on the quality and demand at market time.

It had to be sorted and graded by hand and that was time consuming .

Us kids didn't like that part of share cropping, as you might imagine it was boring to us . 

It was during this time of the season, our  Brother Denver, was inducted into the Army.

I remember I was thrilled I could get away from the grading long enough to drive him to catch the bus.

While driving there, I was thinking Brother isn't quite the Army type in my opinion.

But he probably want mind trying it, as long as it gets him away from farming for awhile.

Brother fooled me and a lot of other people, by completing his basic training on time and with high honors, and reenlisting for twenty five  more years .


Most  farmers who worked as sharecroppers did have to acquire debt, Dad wasn't any different.

 He was able to pay back his debt most of the time and still have enough left over for Christmas presents for the family.

Christmas, was like icing on  the cake for the family with money in our pockets and rest from  all the work, we were happy troopers.

And grateful to be counted among those who called themselves share croppers.

Until Next Time.   God Bless.

My Meditations by,  Coleman


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