labor shortage

You had better get them back here on Monday.

Wilson Daily Times, 26 June 1942.

The end of the Depression did not curtail the power of employment offices over the bodies of African-American laborers. We saw protests in the late 1930s against workers being sent to toil in deplorable conditions in Duplin County strawberry fields. ¬†In 1942, even tobacco barons were crying foul as the employment office shipped nearly 200 men, women, and children to Delaware to work in fields, despite a severe ¬†farmworker labor shortage in Wilson County. “Suggestions pointing to the ‘drafting’ of farm and tobacco labor if the work could not be done on a voluntary basis were made at the meeting.”