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Out of the Rural South
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Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division

Russell Lee/Farm Security Administration

King Cotton in Peril

Rates of migration were accelerated by economic conditions. Because of increased world production and the onset of an international economic depression, American production of cotton - which had been a major export until the 1920s - was facing collapse. The need for labor steadily decreased as a result of mechanization, improved methods of irrigation, seed genetics, and more effective pesticides.

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