Robert “Fleetwood” Bowden’s “Da Cotton Pickas” is a must see documentary about how slavery did not stop with the Emancipation Proclamation. In fact, some people who were sharecropping slaves are still alive today, like Bishop Henry Williams, the subject of this monumental documentary. He worked for over 18 years and was never paid for picking cotton. Fleetwood tells a story of a historical reality with this documentary that most have never heard.
The history of technology in the United States is inextricably related to Negro labor and business conditions. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the country was characterized by its rural and agricultural nature. With the advent of mass production, a steady and inexorable shift occurred, resulting in an urban, industrial society with many people leaving Eastern and Southern farms and towns and migrating to Northern and Western cities.