Examines the political and economic changes of recent decades in the Mississippi Delta.
The Transformation of Plantation Politics explores the effects of black political exclusion, the sharecropping system, and white resistance on the Mississippi Delta's current economic and political situation. Sharon D. Wright Austin's extensive interviews with residents of the region shed light on the transformations and legacies of the Delta's political and economic institutions. While African Americans now hold most of the major political offices in the region and are no longer formally excluded from political participation, educational opportunities, or lucrative jobs, Wright Austin shows that white wealth and black poverty continue to be the norm partly because of the deeply entrenched legacies of the Delta's history. Contributing to a greater theoretical understanding of black political efforts, this book demonstrates a need for a strong level of black social capital, intergroup capital, financial capital, political capital, and a human capital of educated and skilled workers.
Sharon D. Wright Austin is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida and the author of Race, Power, and Political Emergence in Memphis.