Wife and children of an Arkansas sharecropper.
Sharecropping was a system introduced in the South after the Civil War in which freed African Americans or poor white farmers could work on plantations as paid workers.
These freedmen or white farmers actually rented land from a landowner by promising to pay the owner with a share of the crop. The owners of the plantations, in turn, supplied these tenant farmers with supplies and housing, while the African-Americans or white farmers worked the fields.
A few of the former slaves were able to save enough money to buy their own land or build a business, but most Blacks remained poor from this system of sharecropping.
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