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Scratching Out a Living"Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South"$
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Angela Stuesse

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520287204

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520287204.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

The Caged Bird Sings for Freedom

The Caged Bird Sings for Freedom

Black Struggles For Civil and Labor Rights, 1950–1980

(p.44) 3 The Caged Bird Sings for Freedom
Scratching Out a Living

Angela Stuesse

University of California Press

This chapter traces the widespread integration of African Americans in Mississippi poultry industry to the federal agricultural policy incentive to keep cotton fields fallow in central Mississippi. This program, combined with the rising prominence of the mechanical cotton picker, made it difficult for ordinary Black farmers to make a living; thus forcing them to work in the poultry industry. The chapter also discusses how the deskilling and intensification of poultry industry labor, the waning of opportunities for small Black farmers, as well as the mounting political pressure on them contribute to the increase in number of Mississippi African Americans poultry workers.

Keywords:   African Americans, poultry industry, cotton picker, Black farmers, poultry workers

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