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The Knotted Line

Evan Bissell, Author

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1865: Three-Card Monte

1865: The 13th Amendment is passed, abolishing slavery except in the case of imprisonment.  In that same year, the sharecropping system is developed in the South, ensuring the continuation of cotton production and cheap labor.  Mississippi Statute requires African Americans to enter into a labor contract with white farmers or risk arrest.

1887: Dawes Act is passed, breaking up communally held tribal land and requiring Native people to privately own parcels of land.

Actions for Self-Determination:
Discussion Questions:
  • How was the sharecropping system a continuation of the power structures during slavery? How did it provide new sources of agency and self-determination?
  • How was emancipation used to stoke racial divisions between poor whites and blacks?
Additional Resources:
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