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The Was Who Was Almost A Man

968 words - 4 pages

The Man Who Was Almost a Man

President Abraham Lincoln signed the Proclamation Emancipation. This document gave slaves their freedom. Sharecropping was also called tenant farming. Blacks viewed this as the only opportunity to become self-sufficient. Knowing that slaves had nowhere to go and all they knew was farming or domestic work; through this system, the landowner still exercised a great degree of power, illustrated by the terms of a contract. Some plantation owners took advantage of majority of the black population, because they could not read, write or count. The plantation owners needed them to keep maintaining the fields and crops. The owners would over charge them for equipment, ...view middle of the document...

The History Channel’s documentary “Reconstruction” recalls that in the southern United States, many blacks became entrapped in debt by ternate farming or sharecropping. The black sharecroppers had an additional challenge because of the unknowns of Mother Nature. Cotton was popular for having high prices, yet it absorbed all of the nutrients out of the soil. Sometimes starting a string of diminishing returns; thus affecting payment and the food share. This also resulted in sharecroppers having to decrease their crop yield. When this happened, they were unable to seek out more fertile land as state laws mandated they remain on the property until their debts were paid. The plantation owner would also receive revenue from the harvest. If the crop, did not thrive then the cost of the loss was added on the black worker.
Dave gets permission to buy a gun for his father, from his mother. Instead of plowing the field, he decides to go off far in the fields to shoot the gun. He closes his eyes, points the gun, and shoots. This resulted in Dave accidently shooting Mr. Hawkins’s mule. After finding out, Mr. Hawkins informs Dave and his father that they will have to pay for the mule. Mr. Hawkins wanted $50 for the dead mule. (Wright 252) Dave knew that by the rate of his pay it would take him two (2) years to pay for the mule. This was another debt compound unto the debt already forced on the family.
Later that night, Dave goes back to the fields, get the gun and practices shooting until the bullets were gone. At that time, he heard a train; he knew that if he stayed he would forever work as a field hand. He hopped on an empty car with his empty gun. (Wright 254). Now, situations like this occurred, the Plantation owners would just passed the debt to a relative. If caught he would be...

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