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Cardboard Cabin: 1939

Cardboard Cabin: 1939

November 1939. Butler County, Missouri. "Evicted sharecropper and son. Camp of makeshift homes built by white and Negro sharecroppers evicted from plantation." Medium format acetate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

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Some background

"In an effort to help suffering farmers, Congress passed the Agricultural Adjustment Act in 1933 as part of the New Deal. The Act allocated funds for farmers to pay sharecroppers who lived on their land. However, some landowners replaced tenants with day wage laborers by using a loophole, and kept the government money owed to the sharecroppers for themselves. Sharecroppers were evicted from their homes – homes to which they had no rights as owners or renters.

In one case in 1939, more than 1,500 men, women, and children piled their belongings along Missouri’s Highway 60 to protest the harmful effects of the policy. They set up ramshackle camps and slept in makeshift huts and jalopies. Images of these impoverished, desperate families — African American and white — shocked the nation and attracted the attention of the White House."

https://exhibits.library.gsu.edu/current/exhibits/show/health-is-a-human...

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