September 13, 2011
The cultivation of cotton in the mid-twentieth century was a labor-intensive operation requiring a large number of workers. Many children, both black and white, were sent to the fields at an early age to chop the cotton. Children such as the Marked Tree (Poinsett County) trio shown here would start at the end of a row and use a hoe to chop the cotton, removing the weeds from the cotton rows. The back-breaking work required long hours and many cotton choppers to finish a field.