• Myrtle Lawrence holding her grandson, Ray Kimbrell, with Sylvia Lawrence.
  • Elvin Lawrence and Elroe Kimbrell weighing full sacks of cotton.
  • Small cotton house surrounded by agricultural fields.
  • Elvin Lawrence weighs cotton in a picking sack while Sylvia Lawrence and others wait.
  • Farm workers walk along a dirt road at the Delta Cooperative.
  • Elvin Lawrence and unnamed man load cotton on a nearly-full wagon.
  • Cotton picking was a family affair.
  • Young woman sits near the wood stove and cooking pots.
  • H. L. Mitchell, president of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union.
  • Reverend Blackstone inducts new STFU member.
  • Woman at outdoor STFU meeting.
  • Man holds child at outdoor STFU meeting.
  • Family of cotton pickers moving up a row.
  • Relaxing in the shade at a gas station in Delta Cooperative.
  • An early union meeting.

The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum enhances knowledge and understanding of tenant farming and agricultural labor movements in the Mississippi River Delta, in an effort to preserve the history and promote the legacy of sharecropping, tenant farming and the farm labor movement. The museum is located in the historic Mitchell-East Building in Tyronza, Arkansas, with restoration of this building and development of the museum made possible through grants from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council and a “We the People” Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

To learn more about the history of tenant farming in Arkansas and the Southern Tenant Farmers Union, click here for an Interactive Timeline.

Share Your Stories


Have you ever picked or chopped cotton? Did you grow up on a farm? Were any of your ancestors tenant farmers? Sharing your memories can help preserve the past for our future generations.




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