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Sharecropping involved farmers without land and the arrangements made with landowners to farm their land in exchange for a portion of the crop's proceeds after harvest. This method of farming kept people enslaved (or stuck in poverty) because they rarely made enough money to support their familes..... and often went without during years of bad harvests. Thus, the sharecropper could never get ahead and was trapped in a never ending cycle of not knowing what would happen to them or their families from one season to the next.