40 Acres And A Mule Essay

811 words - 4 pages

From Hughsey Childes’ and Minnie Whitney’s different stories of the state of sharecropping and farming in the African American communities, we find things that are revealed about the Reconstruction period after the Civil War, as well as the similarities and differences between the two’s experiences.
Hughsey’s oral history tells is a secondary source about a man who had been a sharecropper. His statement tells us that the sharecropper, who “couldn’t read or write”, was given very little to live on, after paying his sharecropping debt. This tells us that the now free African Americans were still extremely discriminated against—to a point where they were not even paid a higher amount to live off of because of these so called “sharecropping debts”. Also unveiled by Hughsey is that white superiority is still a major instrument used against blacks. For example, when the sharecropper and the “gentleman” that he worked for began an argument about who cheated whom, the “white man jumped on him, hitched the horses to him… and drug him through the street… and hung him,” making a statement in itself that says that the white man could do whatever he wanted, whether he was right or not.1 Minnie Whitney’s interview unveils how she saw that the sharecroppers were basically slaves with a different name, because they followed what “the white man would tell them” and also believed everything that was said to them by these “white m[en]”. Also displayed by Minnie’s story was that not all sharecroppers were treated badly, unless they decided that they didn’t want to do what they were told.
These stories could be counted as having both similarities and differences, not just completely similar or different. The similarity between the two interviews are that they both said that if anyone said something about the sharecropping or the white men, then they or their family would get hurt. In Hughsey’s case, if anyone were to question the reason why the sharecropper was unreasonably hung, then people would get hurt, or end up in the same position as the sharecropper. From Minnie’s perspective, she knew that if she were to “do some of the things they said they were gonna do”, then her father and the rest of her family would be harmed. She even mentions that she had to be “careful in what” she did because she “didn’t want...

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