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Reaping a Greater Harvest

African Americans, the Extension Service, and Rural Reform in Jim Crow Texas

By Debra A. Reid Ph.D

Publication Year: 2007

Jim Crow laws pervaded the south, reaching from the famous "separate yet equal" facilities to voting discrimination to the seats on buses. Agriculture, a key industry for those southern blacks trying to forge an independent existence, was not immune to the touch of racism, prejudice, and inequality. In Reaping a Greater Harvest, Debra Reid deftly spotlights the hierarchies of race, class, and gender within the extension service. Black farmers were excluded from cooperative demonstration work in Texas until the Smith-Lever Agricultural Extension act in 1914. However, the resulting Negro Division included a complicated bureaucracy of African American agents who reported to white officials, were supervised by black administrators, and served black farmers. The now-measurable successes of these African American farmers exacerbated racial tensions and led to pressure on agents to maintain the status quo. The bureau that was meant to ensure equality instead became another tool for systematic discrimination and maintenance of the white-dominated southern landscape. Historians of race, gender, and class have joined agricultural historians in roundly praising Reid's work.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Series: Sam Rayburn Series on Rural Life, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Commerce

Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Dedication

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pp. 223-228

Contents

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List of Illustration

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pp. vi-x

SERIES EDITOR’S FOREWORD

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pp. xi-xii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xvii

Reaping a Greater Harvest emerged out of the last dissertation that Texas his- torian Robert “Bob” Calvert supervised. He urged me to study female em- ployees of the Negro Division of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service (TAEX), but I wanted to include male as well as female employees and their...

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Introduction

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pp. xix-xxix

Science changed agriculture and rural life in unprecedented ways during the twentieth century, and land-grant colleges became official conduits to channel new ideas into the countryside. Increased knowledge of plant and animal...

Reaping a Greater Harvest

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1. African Americans and Rural Reform in Texas, 1891–1914

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pp. 6-26

African Americans strove to improve conditions in rural Texas after eman- cipation, but the most organized and sustained effort developed during the Populist era of the late 1880s and the early 1890s. Politics affected white...

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2. Forming Separate Bureaucracies: Th e Negro Division of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, 1915–20

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pp. 27-47

Texas became the twelfth state to segregate extension services when TAEX administrators created the Negro Division during 1915. The division quickly became the largest in the nation, securing more federal funding, more staff, and more participants than any other. It developed as a model of progressive...

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3. Segregated Modernization: Taking the Message into African American Fields and Farm Homes

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pp. 49-68

Among all the other preparations recorded in Austin’s order book for November 21 is a short note directing that “the battery ordered to be erected within 300 yds of the walls of the fortifications [the Alamo] will be commenced this night, under the command of Capt. Cheshire assisted by Dr. James Grant as engineer...

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4. Public Reform in Black and White: The Maturation of a Segregated Division

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pp. 69-88

Texan historians have not been kind either to James Grant or to the expedition that he now led, and most have taken their cue from Sam Houston, who some time later charged in a vitriolic letter to Henry Smith: “Is he not a Scotchman who has resided in Mexico for the last ten years? Does he not own large possessions in the interior? . . . Is he not deeply interested in the hundred league claims...

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5. Building Segregated Social Welfare: Texas’ Negro Division and Roosevelt’s New Deal

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pp. 89-108

The garrison lay where the Atascosita Road crossed the San Antonio River at a point about ninety miles downstream from Bexar and forty miles inland from Copano Bay, and like many places in Mexico it had two names. To some it was known simply as La Bahía (or, as the Americans frequently wrote it, “Labadee”), but others knew it as Goliad. By either name it was currently one of the most...

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6. Beyond the Farm: Cultivating New Audiences and Support Systems at Home and Abroad

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pp. 109-128

William cooke may have thought that Houston had “completely defeated the object of Col. Grant” at Refugio, but James Grant himself may not have seen it quite that way. On the contrary, despite all the setbacks and troubles of the past three months, the plan to “revolutionize” Mexico at last seemed to be at the point of coming to fruition...

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7. Separation Despite Civil Rights

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pp. 129-147

And so, unaware that it was already too late, Grant decided to go out again immediately, without waiting for a reply from Fannin to Johnson’s plea, in case it might bring more positive orders for Cooke and the others to fall back to Goliad. Although this foray was seemingly represented as such both at the time and later, the “secret expedition” was not to be a mere horse...

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Notes

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pp. 148-167

On the same day Grant was killed, the reconvened Texian Convention issued the long-expected formal Declaration of Independence from Mexico. Few of the signatories, who included Sam Houston, seem to have been in any doubt at all that this declaration was merely a temporary arrangement pending an annexation of Texas by the United States. Just five days afterward Houston...

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Bibliographic Essay

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pp. 168-180

For the united states the annexation of Texas paved the way for the final stages of the march to the Pacifi c Ocean. As William Kennedy noted: “In a letter written by General Andrew Jackson, and published some months before his death, he observed...

Manuscript and Archival Sources

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pp. 181-198

Index

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pp. 199-222


E-ISBN-13: 9781603445054
E-ISBN-10: 1603445056
Print-ISBN-13: 9781585445714
Print-ISBN-10: 1585445711

Page Count: 328
Illustrations: 35 b&w photos. 1 line art. 6 maps. 10 tables.
Publication Year: 2007

Series Title: Sam Rayburn Series on Rural Life, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Commerce
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OCLC Number: 779276076
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Reaping a Greater Harvest