Preface to Peasantry: A Tale of Two Black Belt Counties

Preface to Peasantry: A Tale of Two Black Belt Counties

Preface to Peasantry: A Tale of Two Black Belt Counties

Preface to Peasantry: A Tale of Two Black Belt Counties

Excerpt

This study of Greene and Macon counties, Georgia, has been made over a period of seven years. It was begun in the summer of 1927 under the auspices of the Georgia Committee on Interracial Coöperation, when Will W. Alexander, Director of the Commission on Interracial Coöperation, and T. J. Woofter, Jr., research professor at the University of North Carolina, suggested that a comparison of conditions in a Black Belt county which had suffered a great population decrease since 1920 with conditions in one which had retained its population should throw into relief the fundamental causes of the movement of Negroes from the Black Belt to cities of the South and North. After two years of field work and nearly two more devoted to the classification and interpretation of data, a report was written and is now on file among the doctors' dissertations of 1931 at the University of North Carolina Library under the title of "Two Rural Black Belt Counties."

Early in 1934 Will W. Alexander, Charles S. Johnson of Fisk University, and Edwin R. Embree of the Rosenwald Fund began a study of the Negro in industry and agriculture with the view of collecting information which might be of assistance to the government in its various activities affecting the Negro. This committee determined that a study should be made of the Negro's status in three selected industries: iron and steel, railroads, and meat packing. George S. Mitchell of Columbia University was in charge of this study. A second study, dealing with agriculture, was divided between Rupert B. Vance of the University of North Carolina, who assumed the responsibility for the collection of statistical data, and Charles S. Johnson who with a staff of field workers began the systematic collection of current materials from eight counties in four states.

While the plans for these studies were still in their formative state, it was decided that a comprehensive study should be made . . .

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