What was sharecropping and How did planters pay sharecroppers for their labor?

In sharecropping, poor blacks and whites sold their labor to planters for a share of the crop.

The planter sold them cabins, work animals, tools, food, clothes, and other supplies on credit. At the end of the season, the sharecropper would pay off his debts with profits from the crop. But planters charged whatever they liked, then added interest, which caused the sharecroppers to get deeper into debt each season.

Their wages kept them alive, but very few could do anything to better their impoverished conditions.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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