Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union

Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union
   Formed in July 1934 in Arkansas, the STFU was an organization of sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and small landowners formed by socialists to protest against the impact of the Great Depression in rural areas and the discrimination in payments between landowners and tenants made under the Agricultural Adjustment Act. The STFU spread to Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama, and in 1935, with a membership of about 25,000, the organization struck for higher wages for picking cotton. The violent reaction of landowners to the SFTU brought the plight of tenant farmers to the national attention and led to the passage of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenancy Act of 1937. However, division within the STFU between socialist and communist sympathizers weakened the organization, and by 1943 it had effectively disappeared.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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