The families in the Call to Home by Carol Stack do not fit with the normal American
household described by Haviland. A normal American household includes the parents and the children only. An aunt raising her nieces and nephews with her own children while their parents are living up North is not considered a normal household. Parents and children are separated with part of the children living with one parent and the others are living with grandparents. Such separation occurs because it is harder and harder to find jobs in the South and many kids have no other choice but to go up North for education and money. As North became more industrialized, people like Eula Grant, Shantee Owens, Donald Hardy and many others packed their bags and went looking for better lives.
The industrialization and the shift to urbanism did not really affect the kinship system of southern rural families. It has become harder to keep and follow the system because of people moving North but there are still extended families just like before. The children are still sending their kids back home to the grandparents, there are still aunts and uncles living together with their families. If children move up North, they sometimes live with the relatives that have already established themselves, so they still stay in the homelike environment. Of course, there are people like Billie and Hank who try to survive on their own, but they still send their girls home, which is a continuation of the kinship system.
The series of migration along with its consequences could not have occurred anywhere
else but in the rural South. It was the place with a totally different economic system then the rest of the United Stated. When East Coast and West Coast started
industrializing, the South did not but kept on relying on cotton and slaves to produce it. However, when slavery was abolished, Southern economy, which relied on the slaves, fell, causing major poverty. Ex-slaves started sharecropping, but it was not enough to keep the families going. Cases when people saved up money to buy their own land were rare and in most cases they could not keep it for long because of the debts. Samuel Bishop got lucky because he was able to buy the land and keep it for so long, but after his death there was nothing for the family to do but to go into the debt.
... middle of paper ...
...d not know before and that knowledge
became a hindrance to their survival. They understood that they fought for different values than the ones they were taught in school. What they could not see is why everybody else does not understand it. The veterans were upset that there is nothing they could do about it and they did not know how to deal with it. Employers did not want to deal with all those problems and would rather hire somebody else than a war veteran. People would not understand everything that they went through and would offer them no support. Some of them received medical disability payments.
The veterans who did not have jobs were considered to be worthless by the white
community. However, in the black community they were looked upon with respect for being
able to stand up to the government. People went to them to ask a question, solve a problem or resolve a conflict. They were actively involved in the social life by helping the people. The veterans became sort of a community leaders, organizing and managing campaigns and fighting for the cause of the black people. They held a high status in the community, which put them at the top of the social hierarchy.
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