When Tobacco Was King: Families, Farm Labor, and Federal by Evan P. Bennett

By Evan P. Bennett

“Bennett makes a provocative argument in regards to the significance of kinfolk hard work at the tobacco farm, the empowerment of girls and kids, and the advance of a neighborhood culture.”—Jeannie Whayne, writer of Delta Empire: Lee Wilson and the Transformation of Agriculture within the New South
When Tobacco used to be King reconstructs the lives of farm households within the Tobacco South, in addition to their paintings and their political struggles, in brilliant, nuanced aspect. This fabulous account joins a quick record of necessary histories facing vibrant leaf tobacco.”—Adrienne Monteith Petty, writer of Standing Their flooring: Small Farmers in North Carolina because the Civil War
Tobacco has left an indelible mark at the American South, shaping the land and tradition through the 20th century. within the previous couple of many years, advances in know-how and shifts in hard work and farming coverage have altered the way of living for tobacco farmers: family members farms have mostly been changed by means of large-scale operations depending on employed hard work, a lot of it from different beaches. even if, the mechanical harvester and the H-2A guestworker didn't placed an finish to tobacco tradition yet quite despatched it in new instructions and sped up the swap that has continuously been a part of the farmer’s life.

In When Tobacco Was King, Evan Bennett examines the agriculture of the South’s unique staple crop within the previous brilliant Belt—a assorted quarter named after the original vivid, or flue-cured, tobacco sort it spawned. He lines the region’s background from Emancipation to the abandonment of federal crop controls in 2004 and highlights the alterations continued via blacks and whites, landowners and tenants, to teach how tobacco farmers persevered to discover which means and neighborhood of their paintings regardless of those drastic changes.

Show description

Read Online or Download When Tobacco Was King: Families, Farm Labor, and Federal Policy in the Piedmont PDF

Best state & local books

The history of Belle Meade: mansion, plantation, and stud

Winner of the Tennessee background publication Award. in the course of the latter 1/2 the 19th century, Belle Meade turned essentially the most vital nursery for Thoroughbred race horses in the United States. considering that point, nearly each Kentucky Derby winner can hint its lineage again to Belle Meade. Belle Meade additionally holds a spot in American historical past as a degree for the comings and goings of significant humans and occasions.

Shay's Rebellion: The Making of an Agrarian Insurrection

We're presently updating our web site and feature no longer but published entire info for this identify. lots of our books are within the Google preview application, which permits readers to view as much as 20% of the publication. If this identify is energetic within the software, you will discover the Google Preview button within the sidebar lower than.

Frontiers: A Short History of the American West (The Lamar Series in Western History)

Released in 2000 to serious acclaim, the yank West: a brand new Interpretive heritage quick turned the normal in collage historical past classes. Now Robert V. Hine and John Mack Faragher provide a concise version in their vintage, freshly up-to-date. Lauded for his or her energetic and stylish writing, the authors supply a grand survey of the colourful historical past of the yankee West, from the 1st contacts among local americans and Europeans to the start of the twenty-first century.

The New York Times The Times of the Seventies The Culture, Politics, and Personalities that Shaped the Decade

There isn't any higher checklist of occasions then the hot York instances, and now, the days of the Seventies captures the historical past, tradition, and personalities of the last decade via thousands of hand-selected articles and compelling unique statement during this detailed and interesting e-book. the recent York instances: the days of the Seventies is an excellent time pill containing the entire maximum, most vital, and such a lot memorable moments and occasions from the last decade.

Extra resources for When Tobacco Was King: Families, Farm Labor, and Federal Policy in the Piedmont

Example text

Unlike eighteenth- and nineteenth-century planters, who found social prestige in the domination of others and the management of their labor, twentiethcentury farm families earned the respect of their neighbors in the demonstration of their own skills as farmers. Their work, they said, was not drudgery, but something with value and purpose far beyond the monetary return it might (but often failed to) produce. This new tobacco culture did not eradicate class biases, racism, and patriarchy, but it was inherently more democratic and egalitarian and ultimately provided farm families with a language they could use to articulate their own desires.

20 After enough leaves had been picked and strung, the men came from the fields to hang the sticks on horizontal tier poles set at different heights inside 30 | When Tobacco Was King the barns in order to get the curing process started. Young men climbed to the top of the barn using the tier poles as rungs and carefully hung the tobaccoladen sticks handed up by workers on the ground. “Being big enough to straddle the tier poles . . seemed to be somewhat of a status symbol among the young boys,” one man recalled.

These preparations were culturally resonant. Farm families earned respect—from their neighbors, from warehousemen, and from tobacco buyers—by actually doing the work. Throughout the late fall and early winter, families, often fathers and older sons, cut timber for the next year’s curing fires. They might return to this job any time there was not pressing work. A 1930 study estimated that it took four acres of growing timber to supply enough wood to cure each acre of Hands | 23 tobacco. Another expert reported that each curing could take two to three cords of dry wood, meaning that a family on a moderate-size tobacco farm might use dozens of cords during a season.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.23 of 5 – based on 13 votes