The Senator and the Sharecropper: The Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland and Fannie Lou Hamer
In The Senator and the Sharecropper: The Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland and Fannie Lou Hamer, Chris Myers Asch tells the story of two historic figures–Fannie Lou Hamer and James O. Eastland–who represented deeply opposed sides of the Civil Rights Movement.
Both were from Sunflower County: Eastland was a wealthy white planter and one of the most powerful segregationists in the U.S. Senate, while Hamer, a sharecropper who grew up desperately poor just a few miles from the Eastland plantation, rose to become the spiritual leader of the Mississippi freedom struggle.
Asch uses Hamer’s and Eastland’s entwined histories, set against the backdrop of Sunflower County’s rise and fall as a center of cotton agriculture, to explore the county’s changing social landscape during the mid-twentieth century and its persistence today as a land separate and unequal. [Publisher’s description.]
Credit: By Chris Myers Asch. Published by University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
Type: Book – Non Fiction
Grade Level: 10-12, Adult
Time Period: 1925-19491950 -1974