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During the first half of the nineteenth century, as many as one million enslaved Africans were transported through sales in the domestic slave trade to the Deep South in a forced migration to work as laborers for the region's cotton plantations. Includes "Anger into Energy: These are highly mechanized, requiring few workers. Size Type see all Size Type. The second wave of the migration began shortly before World War II and lasted to , as thousands of blacks migrated to the West Coast for jobs related to the growing defense industries.

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The Black Belt is a region of the Southern United States. The term originally described the prairies and dark fertile soil of central Alabama and northeast Mississippi. Because this area in the 19th century was historically developed for cotton plantations based on enslaved African American labor, the term became associated with these conditions.
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The term was first used to designate a part of the country which was distinguished by the color of the soil. The part of the country possessing this thick, dark, and naturally rich soil was, of course, the part of the South where the slaves were most profitable, and consequently they were taken there in the largest numbers.

Later and especially since the war, the term seems to be used wholly in a political sense—that is, to designate the counties where the black people outnumber the white. Ninety-five of these counties were located across the Coastal and Lowland South in a loose arc related to traditional areas of plantation agriculture, including the Mississippi Delta.

The United States Department of Agriculture in proposed creating a federal regional commission, similar to the Appalachian Regional Commission , to address the social and economic problems of the Black Belt. It defined the region, called the Southern Black Belt, as a patchwork of counties scattered throughout the South. The shape and location of the Black Belt is derived from its geology. During the Cretaceous period, about to 66 million years ago, most of what are now the central plains and the southeast of the United States were covered by shallow seas.

Tiny marine plankton grew in those seas, and their carbonate skeletons accumulated into massive chalk formations. That chalk eventually became a fertile soil highly suitable for growing crops. The Black Belt arc was the shoreline of one of those seas, where large amounts of chalk had collected in the shallow waters. Before the 19th century, this region was a mosaic of prairies and oak-hickory woods. In the s and s, the region was identified as prime land for upland cotton plantations.

Short-staple cotton did well here, and its profitable processing was made possible by invention of the cotton gin. It grew better in the upland regions than did the long-staple cotton of the Low Country. Ambitious migrant planters moved to the area in a land rush called Alabama Fever.

Many brought slaves with them from the Upper South , or purchased them later in the domestic slave trade , resulting in the forced migration of an estimated one million workers to the Deep South.

The Black Belt region became one of the cores of an expanding cotton plantation system that spread through much of the American Deep South. Eventually, the term Black Belt was used to describe the larger area of the South with historic ties to slave plantation agriculture and the cash crops of cotton, rice , sugar , and tobacco.

After the American Civil War and Emancipation, most freedmen continued to work on plantations, generally by a system of sharecropping. The poverty of the South and decline in agricultural prices after the war caused suffering for planters and workers both. Although this had been a richly productive region, the agricultural economy was depressed in the late 19th century; by the early 20th century, there was a general economic collapse of the region.

Among its many causes were continued depressed cotton prices, over-reliance on agriculture, soil erosion and depletion , the boll weevil invasion and subsequent collapse of the cotton economy, and the socially repressive Jim Crow laws. With the decline of agriculture in generating wealth, what had been one of the nation's wealthiest and most politically powerful regions became one of the poorest. But, after regaining power in the state legislatures and ending Reconstruction, at the end of the 19th century white Democrats in the former Confederate states completed disfranchising most blacks and many poor whites by passing new constitutions that provided for an array of discriminatory voter registration and electoral rules.

They did not lose any seats in congressional apportionment, which was based on total state populations, despite their disfranchisement of many of their citizens. This allowed the Democrats to accumulate seniority in Congress, where they acquired important committee chairmanships and exercised outsized political power for decades.

The South became a one-party region, and whites controlled all Congressional representation allocated for the full population, although in many areas, the majority of residents could not vote. Whites exercised political power outsize to their numbers, as Democrats continued to have a one-party system through disfranchisement of blacks through much of the 20th century. They controlled a disproportionate number of seats in Congress, gaining seniority and thereby control of important committees.

In the South and elsewhere, many states suffered malapportionment of state and congressional representatives, as rural areas had retained political control when state legislatures refused to redistrict long after demographic and economic shifts increasing population in urban areas. Lynchings were frequent in this region as whites used violence to impose white supremacy. Rates of lynching were high at times of economic stress and, annually, when it was time to settle accounts for sharecropping.

The southern states passed Jim Crow laws establishing racial segregation in public facilities. During the first half of the twentieth century, up until , a total of 6. They migrated to northern and midwestern industrial cities for jobs and other opportunities.

The second wave of the migration began shortly before World War II and lasted to , as thousands of blacks migrated to the West Coast for jobs related to the growing defense industries. To check the progress of your order, please enter your email and order number below. View more orders Here to help Have a question? So we can better tailor information and news for you, please add your address details.

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Black Belt Female Ranking

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