Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sharecropping in North Louisiana: A Family's Struggle Through the Great Depression Featured in Local Paper

By Linda Duff Niemeir

Sharecropping in North Louisiana: A Family's Struggle Through the Great Depression is the
true story of my mother's growing-up years on farms in Caldwell and Richland Parishes as a sharecropper's daughter. It was a hard life for a poor family and was complicated by the depression of the 30s and WWII in the 40s. Mama was one of five girls born to Clarence and Eliza Laird, but only three of the daughters lived to adulthood. Grandpa did not own any land, any tools or a team of mules. He and grandma worked land which belonged to other people and then shared the income from the harvested crops with the landowners. Usually this was a cotton crop and the landlord's share was half of the profit. Grandpa moved the family a lot because he kept looking for better land, or a better house or possibly a job with a closer location to town, church or school for the girls. Mama told me the stories of her younger life all my life and I was fascinated by the way her family lived. They were poor, but worked hard and did the best they could. I asked mama to help me write the manuscript so our children, and grandchildren would know of that era of our history and how the family coped with hard times during the Great Depression and WWII. It was friends and neighbors who encouraged us to find a publisher so the story could be shared with more people. The book tells of the family's daily life, their sorrows and the love they had for each other, as well as many historical events which happened during the 20s, 30s and 40s. Most readers are so fascinated with the details in the book, they say they read it without putting it down. We invite all ages of the community to come to the lectures in Lake Providence on Oct. 2nd to hear about this heartwarming story as told by Lillian in the book. We will be at the Louisiana Cotton Museum on Friday, Oct. 2nd from 10:00 until noon. Then we will be at the local public library that afternoon from 2 pm - 3:30. The lectures will start at the earlier times with a book-signing to follow.

I live in Camden, AR and my mother lives in Bastrop. She does not hear well over the phone, so I usually handle phone interviews. Attached are a few pictures, so feel free to use any of them as you prepare an article for the paper. Other book events from the past year can be found on line if you google the title of the book, or google our names. We have a website at and a blog at Our publisher is Tate Publishing out of Mustang, OK. Thanks for your time. Linda Duff Niemeir, Co-Author

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