XIV-"I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days" - Ray Sprigle - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

XIV-"I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days" - Ray Sprigle - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Feudalism Lives on In the Delta

by: Ray Sprigle | publication date: August 24, 1948 | Publication: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | pages: 1

 Black of the rich earth and green of the springing cotton plants stretch from horizon to horizon. This is the fabulous Mississippi Delta, last outpost of feudalism in America. Here is land more fertile than any other in the world. Here close to half a million Negroes toil from childhood to the grave in the service of King Cotton, from sunup to sundown if they share-crop, from 6 to 6 if they work by the day. Here are feudal baronies that run from 5,000 to 20,000 acres, where as many as 6,000 sharecropper families, wives and children, parents and grandparents follow the one mule plow and the chopping hoe all their lives. On these tight little Delta principalities "The Man" (the landlord), is the middle justice, the high and the low. Mississippi law stops dead in its tracks at their boundaries. No sheriff, no peace officer takes a man, black or white off these acres until "The Man" tells him he may  

Sprigle visits the sharecropping farms of the Mississippi Delta, in disguise as a black man.

Access to online material.