After World War II the mechanization of harvesting cotton allowed farmers to create neo-plantations, which did not require large amounts of cheap labor and again allowed the concentration of agricultural production into large fields. Sharecropping continued during this era, but the neo-plantations were a distinctively new agricultural institution that created a new (actually old, similar in appearance to slave-based plantations) cultural landscape.

The restructuring of southern agriculture resulted in a huge out-migration of blacks to northern cities. And black southern culture--language (Black English), music (blues and jazz), food (soul food), and social structure--also spread to the North.

What changed on this plantation during the 1950s?


Source: Merle Prunty, "The Renaissance of the Southern Plantation," Geographical Review, Vol. 65, No. 4 (October 1955), pp. 459-491.


Created on by Ingolf Vogeler on 1 February 1996; last revised 3 December 1996.
Thanks to Greg Nelms for comments on this page.