The Senator and the Sharecropper: The Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland and Fannie Lou Hamer

The Senator and the Sharecropper: The Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland and Fannie Lou Hamer

by Chris Myers Asch


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In this fascinating study of race, politics, and economics in Mississippi, Chris Myers Asch tells the story of two extraordinary personalities—Fannie Lou Hamer and James O. Eastland—who represented deeply opposed sides of the civil rights movement. Both were from Sunflower County: Eastland was a wealthy white planter and one of the most powerful segregationists in the U.S. Senate, while Hamer, a sharecropper who grew up desperately poor just a few miles from the Eastland plantation, rose to become the spiritual leader of the Mississippi freedom struggle. Asch uses Hamer's and Eastland's entwined histories, set against the backdrop of Sunflower County's rise and fall as a center of cotton agriculture, to explore the county's changing social landscape during the mid-twentieth century and its persistence today as a land separate and unequal. Asch, who spent nearly a decade in Mississippi as an educator, offers a fresh look at the South's troubled ties to the cotton industry, the long struggle for civil rights, and unrelenting social and economic injustice through the eyes of two of the era's most important and intriguing figures.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807872024
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Edition description: 1
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 986,409
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Chris Myers Asch teaches history at the University of the District of Columbia.

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From the Publisher

This elegant book yields fresh insight into the tumultuous decades of the 1950s and 1960s and sobering reflection on why segregation, poverty, and racial inequality continue to define life for many in Mississippi and beyond.—Patricia Sullivan, Emory University

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