"Out Yonder on the Road": Working Class Self-Representation and the 1939 Roadside Demonstration in Southeast Missouri

Roll, Jarod (2010) "Out Yonder on the Road": Working Class Self-Representation and the 1939 Roadside Demonstration in Southeast Missouri. Southern Spaces. ISSN 1551-2754

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Abstract

This essay revisits the 1939 roadside demonstration of sharecroppers in southeast Missouri, when more than fifteen hundred men, women, and children piled their belongings on the highway shoulder to protest the deleterious effects of New Deal agricultural policy. Images of these impoverished, desperate families African American and white shocked the nation and attracted the attention of the White House. Using archival material, including documentary photographs, the essay excavates the longer history of this dramatic event and considers how the demonstrators successfully manipulated the cultural narratives and iconography of rural poverty to force government action. These grassroots, working-class activists participated in what scholars have termed the 1930s "Southern Front" of political protest.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Available online at http://www.southernspaces.org/2010/out-yonder-road-working-class-self-representation-and-1939-roadside-demonstration-southeast-mis
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > American Studies
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General)
Depositing User: Jarod Roll
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:20
Last Modified: 29 May 2012 09:48
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15847
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