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The Other Side of Shirley Sherrod


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Counterpunch:

The Story of Annie Hawkins and New Communities, Inc.

The Other Side of Shirley Sherrod

By RON WILKINS

snip
Imagine farm workers doing back breaking labor in the sweltering sun, sprayed with pesticides and paid less than minimum wage. Imagine the United Farm Workers called in to defend these laborers against such exploitation by management. Now imagine that the farm workers are black children and adults and that the managers are Shirley Sherrod, her husband Rev. Charles Sherrod, and a host of others. But it’s no illusion; this is fact.

The swirling controversy over the racist dismissal of Shirley Sherrod from her USDA post has obscured her profoundly oppositional behavior toward black agricultural workers in the 1970s. What most of Mrs. Sherrod’s supporters are not aware of is the elitist and anti-black-labor role that she and fellow managers of New Communities Inc. (NCI) played. These individuals under-paid, mistreated and fired black laborers–many of them less than 16 years of age–in the same fields of southwest Georgia where their ancestors suffered under chattel slavery.

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H/T Instapundit
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As interesting as this story narrative might be... the most interesting aspect is the author, Ron Wilkins.

 

Ron Wilkins is a former organizer in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1974, under an assumed name, he hired-on at New Communities Inc. The Emergency Land Fund, an Atlanta-based black land retention organization, which shared oversight responsibility for NCI’s progress, wanted to know the basis for NCI’s continued poor performance. The author’s secondary purpose was to develop agricultural skills. For his role in organizing NCI’s workers, management eventually fired him from his $40 per week position, evicted him from the rent-free shack on NCI property and orchestrated his arrest, on bogus charges, by FBI agents and Lee County, Georgia Sheriff’s deputies in the midst of an NCI labor protest. The charges were later dropped. Presently he is an Africana Studies professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills.
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SrWoodchuck

Is chattel slavery the founding basis of racism in America?

 

Black slave-owners existed in fairly significant numbers in the pre-1860 South. A small percentage of whites were actual slave-owners [1.4% total US / 4.8% of whites in the South.] Many free blacks purchased family members, and freed them; but while most slave-owners owned between one to five slaves [white & black,] some owned more than 50 and were called "slave magnates." In 1860 New Orleans, five blacks were "slave magnate's" with between 50 & 100+ slaves and 3,000 free blacks in 1860 New Orleans owned slaves; which represents 28% of all blacks in New Orleans at the time. These freed black slave-owners, at times "owned" members of their own family. It was considered a capital investment. Treatment under black owners was as severe as under white owners. A major slave magnate, William Ellison, of South Carolina, began life as a slave named,"April" and was educated & taught skills as a tradesman by his white namesake, before being freed by him. He ended up owning over a hundred slaves, put his farms into planting for the war effort & sent a son to fight for the Confederacy. He was known as one of the harshest owners, engaging in slave breeding, which was looked down on by the people of the South at the time, sold them [including his own family members] for around $ 400.00@, and was brutal to slaves that resisted or ran away.

 

Shirley & the "Rev" would have fit in very nicely.

 

* Above taken from books on black slave owners, by Robert M. Groom & Larry Kobel.

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