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Papa explains to the children about the falling prices on crops due to the depression, and how the Agricultural Adjustment Administration is trying to raise them by paying farmers to farm less or paying them to destroy their crops. It is hardest for sharecroppers, he explains, and their landowners seem to be doing quite well.
Blacks can own land, but, thanks to the failure of Reconstruction to provide a real path for former slaves to own their own land and be economically self-sufficient, they are usually stuck working for whites in conditions not too different from slavery. The Turner family is an apposite example of black farmers who cannot escape the endless cycle of sharecropping.