Many slaves that had been freed were forced to be a sharecropper which essentially is a worker who rents his or her equipment from a person with more resources. The majority of these situations occurred when former slave owners had extra supplies and rented the supplies out to the former slaves. When the profit was high for the sharecropper the rent for the equipment became more expensive for the farmers. This cycle basically made the African Americans work for a very little amount of money if any at all and, allowed the previous slave owner to still use people to work for a small amount of money.
Taken in Missouri , the picture represents three black sharecroppers maintaining rented land. Blacks were unable to find jobs after slavery became illegal which meant that the only immediate solution was to rent land and tools from the same person who had earlier enslaved them.
sharecropping did not only take place in Missouri, In fact it was even more popular in the south east
Henry Adams shares his experiences with the U.S. senate fifteen years after he was freed from slavery
Henry Adams was first told by his slave owner that he was free and after that he was told to stay on the plantation and make money there because he would be harassed if he went anywhere else. His fellow workers all signed the contract to give the owner one fifth of their food and profits however, Henry was unwilling however, his boss manipulated him by telling him that Henry is dependent on his safety. Adams recalls, "He said, stay where we are living and we could get protection from our old masters." The boss never really treated the sharecroppers like they were of importance to him however, he uses the violence to his advantage and makes the African Americans dependent on him. In another situation, Adams recalls a moment in which he feels as if he is getting scammed saying, "We made two or three hundred gallons of molasses and only got what we could eat. We made about eight-hundred bushel of potatoes; we got a few to eat. We split rails three or four weeks and got not a cent for that". Henry Adams describes the injustice in a way which makes it possible for us to see that the black minority were shunned in the economics of American society