I’ve thought long and hard over the years about why we Alabamians are who and what we are. What were the currents that deposited our sand bars and formed our rapids? What was in the DNA of those long ago settlers that shaped our values and established our priorities?
Then one day I found the answers in a cotton patch.
Even before Alabama became a state in 1819, “Alabama fever” swept the mid-Atlantic and our population increased 1,000 percent from 1810 to 1820. This new world revolved around cotton. As we look back today we see that this culture established a mindset that has yet to loosen its grip on us. Cotton declared that manual labor always trumped the capacity to think and that a keen mind was of little use when cotton needed tending.
So plantation owners made sure slaves could not got to school; later, landowners with sharecroppers figured children should be in the field instead of the school house. This mentality trapped thousands of our citizens in an endless cycle where poverty and lack of education because a shaky found for hoped-for-prosperity.
And writing about this is how I ended up on Amazon.com a few weeks ago.
Yep, click on this link and you’ll find a very small paperback called In The Land of Cotton. And I emphasize very small because it is more a pamphlet than a book. But the publisher wanted to call it a book, and since I’ve never dealt with a publisher, who was I to say.
(And besides, I can now tell my son, Kevin, who has a real book to his credit, that his pappy is published.)
And if you would like a copy and not deal with Amazon, drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll discuss the details.