Museum Monday: The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum

I’ve loved museums my entire life…and after working in one for 10 years, that love only grew stronger. On Mondays, I will share some of my favorite museums located within the 26 counties of eastern Arkansas.

 
Kimberly J. Williams
 

Welcome to Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend and had an opportunity to enjoy the absolutely stunning weather we had in The Natural State!

Today’s museum is the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum in Tyronza. In 1934, a movement of change was born in the small Delta town. Eighteen tenant farmers, both black and white, met and decided to confront the widespread unethical practices of landowners. The Southern Tenant Farmers Union would break racial barriers throughout its existence, most notably the inclusion of women and blacks in the organization and administration of the union.

The museum is housed the building that housed H.L. Mitchell’s dry cleaner and the service station owned by Clay East, two of the original organizers of the Union. The building also served as the unofficial headquarters of the STFU. The museum weaves the story of the tenant farming and sharecropping systems with the history of the lives of the people who endured it. Using photographs, artifacts, oral histories and vintage 1930s news reels, visitors to the museum get a true sense of what tenant farmers overcame in their quest for a better way of life for themselves and their families.

Check out the museum’s Web site at http://stfm.astate.edu/.

Posted in Travel Arkansas

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