The Missouri Sharecropper Protest of 1939, also known as the Missouri Sharecropper Strike, was a labor movement led by sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and agricultural workers in Missouri, United States. The protest was sparked by the poor working conditions and low wages faced by sharecroppers, who were primarily African American and lived in poverty.
The protest began in the summer of 1939 when sharecroppers and tenant farmers from across the state began to organize and demand better wages and working conditions from the large landowners they worked for. The demonstrators also demanded the right to unionize and have a voice in the conditions under which they worked.
The protest was met with fierce resistance from the landowners, who refused to negotiate with the sharecroppers and used intimidation and violence to break up the demonstrations. Despite this, the sharecroppers persisted and continued to organize, leading to strikes and protests throughout the state.
One of the most notable moments of the protest was the “March of the Sharecroppers,” which took place in August 1939, when thousands of sharecroppers and tenant farmers marched to the state capital of Jefferson City to demand their rights. The march was met with a strong police presence, and many demonstrators were arrested or beaten.
The protest ultimately failed to achieve its goals, as the sharecroppers could not secure better wages or working conditions. However, it did bring national attention to the plight of sharecroppers and tenant farmers and helped to pave the way for future labor movements in the rural South.
The Missouri Sharecropper Protest of 1939 was a significant event in the history of labor and civil rights in the United States, highlighting the struggles and challenges faced by sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and agricultural workers, particularly African Americans, and their fight for fair treatment and rights, which was met with resistance and violence.