Skip to main content

National Sharecroppers Fund Records

 Collection
Identifier: LR000393
Part 1: The National Sharecroppers Fund Records consist primarily of the papers of Fay Bennett in her work with the National Advisory Committee on Farm Labor (NACFL) and, to a lesser extent, with the National Sharecroppers Fund, the Migrant Children's Fund, the National Council on Agricultural Life and Labor, and the Citizens' Crusade Against Poverty.

Series Description: Series 1: National Advisory Committee on Farm Labor, 1957-1969: Sub-Series 1-A: Board of Directors, 1957-1968 Sub-Series 1-B: Field work of Stanley Hamilton, 1960-68 Sub-Series 1-C: General files, 1957-69 Sub-Series 1-D: Public hearings on farm labor, Washington, D.C., February 5-6, 1959 Sub-Series 1-E: Public hearings in farm labor and rural poverty, Washington, D.C., May 18-19, 1964 Sub-Series 1-F: Congress and federal legislation, 1960-68 Sub-Series 1-G: Publications of NACFL, 1958-1968 Sub-Series 1-H: Other testimonies and statements, 1959-68

Series 2: National Sharecroppers Fund, 1942-1959

Series 3: Migrant Children's Fund, 1953-1967

Series 4: National Council on Agricultural Life and Labor, 1950-1967

Series 5: Citizen's Crusade Against Poverty, 1964-1968

Important correspondents: Fay Bennett, Stanley Hamilton, Russell R. Benedict, Anne Draper, Leni Lieberman, Linda Wirt Lewis, Benjamin L. Yellen
Part 2: The National Sharecroppers Fund Records consist primarily of correspondence, program proposals, project materials, and field reports documenting not only NSF’s efforts to provide technical and organizational assistance to the rural poor, but also the personal experiences of sharecroppers in the southern United States as related by NSF field representatives. Significant projects sponsored by NSF included the Southern Rural Training Project (job training and adult education for the hard-core unemployed), the Farm Labor Counseling Program (job placement and training), and the Southern Rural Project (train local leaders for community and program development).

Important correspondents: Fay Bennett, Beth Biderman, Blue Carstenson, Helen Gahagan Douglas, Ernesto Galarza, Frank P. Graham, Gardner Jackson, Lewis Jones, H. L. Mitchell, James Patton, Milton Plumb, A. Philip Randolph, Walter P. Reuther, Serafino Romualdi, Hazel Brannon Smith, Hazel Whitman

Dates

  • 1937 - 1985
  • Majority of material found within 1955 - 1972

Creator

Language of Materials

Material primarily in English with some Spanish included.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

58 Linear Feet (24 MB, 46 SB)

Abstract

The National Sharecroppers Fund grew out of the "National Sharecroppers Week," an annual event to rally support for the fledgling Southern Tenant Farmers Union. It was founded to provide financial assistance and information on government aid programs to organizations dedicated to improving living conditions for the rural poor. Their records include the papers of Fay Bennett and her work with the NSF, the National Advisory committee on Farm Labor, the Migrant Children's Fund, the National Council on Agricultural Life and Labor, and the Citizens' Crusade Against Poverty; material documenting NSF's efforts to provide technical and organizational assistance to the rural poor; and personal experience of sharecroppers in the southern United States.

History

The National Sharecroppers Fund (NSF), incorporated in 1943, grew out of "National Sharecroppers Week," an annual event, begun in 1937, to rally support for the fledgling Southern Tenant Farmers Union. A non-profit, voluntary organization, NSF was founded to provide financial assistance and information on government aid programs to organizations dedicated to improving living conditions for the rural poor.

Part 1 of the National Sharecroppers Fund Collection consists primarily of the papers of Fay Bennett in her work with the National Advisory Committee on Farm Labor (NACFL) and, to a lesser extent, with the National Sharecroppers Fund, the Migrant Children's Fund, the National Council on Agricultural Life and Labor, and the Citizens' Crusade Against Poverty.

NACFL was organized in 1958 as a fact-finding, reporting agency whose goal was to build public awareness of the substandard living and working conditions of farm laborers. Dissolved in 1968, its activities were taken over by NSF's newly-formed Farm Labor Committee.

The Migrant Children's Fund was set up in 1954 and cooperated with other agencies to expand educational opportunities for migrant children. In 1963, it merged with the National Child Labor Committee.

The National Council on Agricultural Life and Labor (NCALL) was organized in 1950 as a clearinghouse for its member organizations, keeping them informed of economic and political developments adversely impacting farm labor and the small, family farmer, while lobbying against such developments. In 1967, the basic commitments and concerns of N CALL were absorbed into the work of the Citizens' Crusade Against Poverty, founded in 1964 as a broad, non-partisan coalition focused on education, national action programs, and community empowerment as the means to eradicate poverty.

Arrangement

Part 1: Arranged in 5 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-18), Series 2 (Boxes 18-19), Series 3 (Box 20), Series 4 (Boxes 21-22) and Series 5 (Boxes 23-24). Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject or type of material.
Part 2: Folders are arranged alphabetically but may actually be dispersed throughout several boxes in the collection. Note carefully the box number for each folder heading.

Acquisition

Part 1: The first installment of the National Sharecroppers Fund Collection was placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in May of 1970 by the executive committee of the National Sharecroppers Fund and was opened for research in June of 1973.
Part 2: The records of the National Sharecroppers Fund were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in multiple shipments from 1974 to 1989.

Related Materials

National Farm Worker Ministry Records, Citizens' Crusade Against Poverty Records, Center for Community Change Records, United Farm Workers Union Collections

Transfers

Part 2: A large number of photographs taken by field representatives and the film, “Land of Cotton,” have been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection.

Processing History

Part 1: Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in June 1973.
Part 2: Processed and finding written by Walter P. Reuther Library on November 1, 1995.
Title
Guide to the National Sharecroppers Fund Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Date
1973-06
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 1995-11-01: Part 2 processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA