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Guide to the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union Collection WAG.329

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY, 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive

Collection processed by Maggie Schreiner

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on August 11, 2015
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Edited by Heather Mulliner to reflect updated administrative information  , Aug 2015

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Southern Tenant Farmers' Union.
Title: Southern Tenant Farmers' Union Collection
Dates [inclusive]: 1930-1989
Dates [bulk]: Bulk, 1972-1989
Abstract: The Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union (STFU) was founded in 1934, in Tyronza, Arkansas by an interracial assembly of eighteen local sharecroppers and tenant farmers. Despite extreme persecution by landowners and deputy sheriffs the movement quickly developed locals in communities throughout the delta region and beyond. The STFU numbered 31,000 members at its peak in 1938. Several agricultural strikes and two roadside encampments-highlighting the plight of agricultural workers-garnered national press coverage. State commissions were established to relieve the plight of sharecroppers in Arkansas and neighboring Missouri and federal legislation was passed, creating programs to underwrite loans for sharecroppers to buy their own farms, as well as programs to build emergency housing for agricultural laborers. This collection consists of several hundred slide photographs, approximately ninety audio cassettes, sixty video cassettes, a dozen reel to reel tapes and a dozen 16mm films. The slides document sharecroppers, STFU leaders and rank-and-file members, and the devastation in Depression-era Dust Bowl farms. The film, video and reel to reel tape recording were generated in the course of filming the documentary "Our Land Too" on the history of the STFU.
Quantity: 10.0 linear feet in 8 record cartons, 2 oversize flat boxes and 1 manuscript box.
Language of Materials note: Materials are in English
Call Phrase: WAG.329