Nell Irvin Painter – Views Of Freedpeople

On one side, poor Blacks blamed whites for rigging a rotten system and preventing them from earning enough to buy land. Whites, on the other, accused Blacks of shortsighted extravagance and laziness. The conflict stemmed from utterly irreconcilable assumptions about the place of Black people in the South. White owners of the land saw Blacks as nothing other than a labor force. Yet Blacks assumed that they were more than mere units of labor, and they cherished hopes of economic betterment. In their eyes, their ambitions of saving a little money for their old age, of educating their children, and of owning land were entirely appropriate.

  • P.66, Exodusters – Nell Irvin Painter, ISBN 0-393-00951-3

Nell Irvin Painter


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