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Beyond Forty Acres and a MuleAfrican American Landowning Families since Reconstruction$
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Debra Reid and Evan Bennett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813039862

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813039862.001.0001

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Benjamin Hubert and the Association for the Advancement of Negro Country Life

Benjamin Hubert and the Association for the Advancement of Negro Country Life

(p.83) 4 Benjamin Hubert and the Association for the Advancement of Negro Country Life
Beyond Forty Acres and a Mule

Mark Schultz

University Press of Florida

Mark Schultz delves into the life of Benjamin F. Hubert, a rural reformer in Georgia who tried to stem the flood away from farming by establishing a viable independent black town, the Log Cabin Community. He allied with other African American agrarian reformers who urged blacks to separate themselves from white society and return to the land to live an independent life sheltered from white supremacy and unequal citizenship. Hubert's strategy based in cooperative farming, scientific agriculture, and industrial education transformed tenants into landowners, sustained rural communities, and allowed farmers to provide for their children. He founded the Association for the Advancement of Negro Country Life in 1928 and used his position as president of the black land-grant college in Georgia to promote his utopian ideal. Children raised on farms owned by their parents tended to get a better education than sharecroppers' children. The owners' children developed self-reliant habits of mind and a sense of optimism that they could succeed despite the barriers thrown up by white supremacy. Many of these children found their way into the northern urban middle class. In doing so, they demonstrated that farm owning offered both immediate security and a path out of poverty.

Keywords:   Benjamin Hubert, scientific agriculture, Country Life Movement, Negro Country Life, land grant college, Log Cabin Community, back-to-the-land movement, industrial education, Georgia

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