By Genevieve Carlton | Checked By Jaclyn AnglisPublished December 30, 2021
In 1919, Black sharecroppers in Arkansas tried to organize for better wages — until a white mob and U.S. troops murdered hundreds of them.
In the Jim Crow South, many Black farmers knew that white landowners were taking advantage of them. But in 1919, the Black sharecroppers of Elaine, Arkansas had had enough. So they met to unionize.
But when local white men heard that the Black sharecroppers were planning to fight for fairer wages and better working conditions, they claimed that they were actually plotting to murder all the white people in town. And what started as a labor dispute quickly escalated into a race massacre.