Wilcox County at Work 1965-70

The majority African American Wilcox County resident toiled at hard labor in sawmills, fields, canneries and other agricultural industries before and after the Civil Rights Movement. Some folks were tenants and some owned their own farms. Everyone of every age worked hard.  Many youth today cannot imagine the toil of the generations before them. These photos by Bob Adelman were taken 1965-70 in Wilcox County, Alabama. Note from Gloria L. Grimsley-Nious: “My mother, Mrs. Senniem M. Grimsley, sold seeds, fertilizer and brought the cucumbers from the black farmer’s for the SWAFCA.”

Workers splitting logs on Tait’s Plantation

Southwest Alabama Farmers Cooperative Association 1970. One of the early coops run by and for Black farmers

Many grown men recall the hard work of hauling cucumbers to the pickling processor. Heavy, hot work.

Along with all her other work, Mrs. Rosanelle Powell (aka Ducca Mae) worked their farm.

Mrs. Witherspoon and other quilters in Alberta 1970

adelman first cut 52 copy

Mr. Sam “Skee” Stanford was legendary for making sure he brought in the first largest bale of cotton to be weighed.

Matthew Brown working construction Pine Hill 1970

Young women doing laundry in the yard. Please send names in comments. Thank you.

By 1970, workers could strike without fear of arrest at McMillan Bloedel in Pine Hill.

Please send names and description in comment link. Thank you.

Ms.Maggie Lee Ray Pettway boiling sheets to get them clean.

5 comments on “Wilcox County at Work 1965-70

  1. Gloria L. Grimsley-Nious says:

    My mother worked at SWAFCA (cucumber shed) from the early 70 to they closed, her name was Mrs. Senniem M. Grimsley. She sold seeds, fertilizer and brought the cucumbers from the black farmer’s.


  2. Sylvia Lee Snowden Seals Watson says:

    The man trucking cotton is Mr. Sam “Skee” Stanford . . .


  3. Pat Thomas says:

    Hello, my father’s family is from there, The McWilliams. They were members of Mt. Olive Church, which is the resting place of many. I have visited many times and know some folks in the area. Enjoyed your post!


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