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"Low Paying Wages For Workers In Louisiana's Cotton Fields "

Updated on August 17, 2013

"Low paying Wages For Workers In Louisiana's Cotton Fields"

100% cotton is essential in clothing and other products made from cotton
100% cotton is essential in clothing and other products made from cotton
Cotton wasn't a friend of mines but I love the clothes tat's made from it.
Cotton wasn't a friend of mines but I love the clothes tat's made from it.

"Low Paying Wages For Workers In Louisiana's Cotton Fields"

I started working in homes at twelve years old, baby sitting, cleaning and cooking. That was okay even though, it only paid $ 3.00 for the whole day.There was one other job that I hated with a passion and that was going to the cotton fields. When I was in my teens, I couldn't find anything to do, but my parent found out about the cotton fields was hiring workers. Young and old, so to my parent that was something to do. Even though we only made a lousy $ 3.00 a day for eight hours. This cotton field business wasn't new to me because my grandma had taken me to the cotton field with her to pick cotton. When I was nine years old and the only thing I liked about it was lunch time and time to go home. When we picked cotton we would have this long linen sack that we would pull the cotton from the bulbs and put it into the sack. The cotton rows would be so long, that most times their length would reach unto the woods which was where you went to the bathroom, to do your business. The bad thing about picking cotton was you had to pick it fast and continuously through out the day, to try and get a hundred pounds.

Even Then, you were only paid $ 1.00 a hundred pounds of cotton, that meant you really had to pick your butt off to get a couple hundred pounds of cotton a day. To makes some dollars for your work, or shall I say a decent amount of pocket change. Working in the cotton fields wasn't a good thing for me. In fact it was the pits for me. I am and always have been a humble and obedient person. I've always tried to do what ever my parent told me to,even if I didn't agree with it. I always tried to honor my parents because that was what I was taught. I guess doing all kinds of odd jobs is where I got my work ethics. To do what ever you can, until you can find something better. We have some people that want work at all, if they can't find what they want to do. Times are tight and sometimes, you take what you can get until better comes along. I will walk you through what you do in the cotton field. First you prepare you a brown bag lunch. They have cold water for you to drink. If you want a pop or something else you have to bring it yourself. You have to dress yourself in long pants and long sleeves shirts to keep form being eaten up by the mosquitoes, you also need a wide rim hat like a sombrero to keep the scorching sun from burning your face or toasting you like a marshmallow.

Every now and then you get a break from the sun, when it goes under the clouds for a little while. I use to get so hot and sweaty in the cotton fields, that the sweat would just pour down with a vengeance, and a windy breeze would send a chill over me. That made me shiver and be cold for a instant. I hated the very words of the cotton field, even the thought of the cotton field, make me cringe and grit my teeth. When you chop or hoe cotton, we're given a hoe which is garden tool. We start at the beginning of a long row of cotton that goes to the end of the field. We take the hoe in our hand and cut through the cotton to get the grass an thin out the cotton. a This is the action that we do all the way to the end of the cotton row. Then we start on an other row. This action goes on until lunch time at 12.00 o'clock and after and hour for lunch, we start over again until 4.00 o'clock. When it's time to go home ,at the end of the day you get in line and go to get your $ 3.00 wages. Talk about cheap hire, I don't think its any cheaper than that job. Believe it or not; there were many people in the cotton field trying to make a few bucks. Now, I look back at what I did to make a buck and now I think it's ludacris to work for $ 3.00 a day. Fortunately for people now days they make better money compared to the pay in the 60's.

We work in the cotton fields every day except for Saturday and Sunday; until the cotton chopping season was over for the year, then it was time to pick cotton. That was my forte. I only picked a hundred pounds of cotton once in my life. There are so many people that don't want to work the jobs they have available to them. now days. If they had to do the work I had to do in the 60's, they would close their mouths and count their blessings. I have no love lost about the cotton fields of Louisiana or anywhere else, but I do use the cotton just like everyone else and get my revenge on the cotton balls. LOL.


Benny Faye Douglass

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    • creativeone59 profile imageAUTHOR

      benny Faye Douglass 

      7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you Mitchell,for your visit and comment, but what you say is true. I appreciate you. Godspeed. creativeone59

    • profile image

      mitchell 

      7 years ago

      People picking cotton might get paid little money , the owners make a few hundred thousand a year.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      My mom used to tell us kids stories about long hours in the hot sun for little pay while picking cotton in Georgia. It really made me look at the work we do today, and appreciate what we have. I applaud anyone who had to do work like that.

    • creativeone59 profile imageAUTHOR

      benny Faye Douglass 

      8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      You're welcome thank you for caring and thank you for your comment and feedback. blessings to you. creativeone59

    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 

      8 years ago from Utah

      Thank you creativeone59 for the timely reminder for all of us to appreciate what we have. I moan and groan every morning about having to go to work and I sit in a chair all day!!! Lord thank you Jesus that we as a people have choices now and are not forced to perform such harsh work. Thank you creativone59 for paving the way for the rest of us.

    • creativeone59 profile imageAUTHOR

      benny Faye Douglass 

      8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you fastfreta for stopping by my hubs today. I guess it's okay when you only have to do it once, but for some it got to be a five days a week thing. which wasn't good. Thank you for your comment and feedback. I appreciate you. Godspeed. creativeone59

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      WOW, creativeone, that brought back memories of a great summer with my grandmother. I use to spend summers with her and one summer a few of the friends that I met while I was there decided just for fun to pick cotton. I had a blast, but, just for that one summer. Even though it was a blast, didn't mean I wanted to do it again. I was always game to to try anything once. Thanks for the memories. Wonderful hub.

    • creativeone59 profile imageAUTHOR

      benny Faye Douglass 

      8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you Audrey, I really don't look at it as being mistreated, I just happen to be in a time zone where,greed was more important humanity and it taught me not to take anything I get for granted. Thank you dear heart for caring and thank you for your comment and feedback. blessings to you. creativeone59

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      Hard work and a hard life to do that kind of work! Bless you for looking at it without resentment but definitely, something needs to change. I think sometimes the values around the world are skewed - or screwed, whichever way you look at it. When did we forget about human dignity or fairness? I am a dreamer I guess because I believe that everyone that has a brain knows the difference between right and wrong - i.e. what is fair. Great story though it makes me sad to think of anyone being mistreated!

    • creativeone59 profile imageAUTHOR

      benny Faye Douglass 

      8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you Micky,I consider you special in my book, thank you for caring and thanks for your comment and feedback. Godspeed. creativeone50

    • creativeone59 profile imageAUTHOR

      benny Faye Douglass 

      8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you BK, what you're saying is true, but most time greed gets the best of us, but I do thank you for caring and for your comment and priceless feedback. Godspeed. creativeone59

    • creativeone59 profile imageAUTHOR

      benny Faye Douglass 

      8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you Hello, I lived it and know it to b e truth through experience, so I thank God for all my blessings, no matter how ever meager they are. Thank you for your comment and feedback. blessings. creativeone5

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for being a worker, a creative person, and a wise person. You are special.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 

      8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Talk about exploitation. Everyone deserves a humane work environment and a living wage - hard work like this doesn't make us better - it kills us. Imagine enslaved people doing this from sun up to sun down - everyday from the moment you start walking until you die in the fields. America has become wealthy by exploiting the labor of innocent people - all to make a few people rich. Now the cotton fields are even worse because cotton is the most heavily sprayed (with toxic chemicals) textiles - and people work in these fields - and no medical care is available. Where is the humanity?

      What a story.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      That was an interesting read. Especially for me, so far away. I heard about it but never knew all the details. Thank for writing it.

    • creativeone59 profile imageAUTHOR

      benny Faye Douglass 

      8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you yenajeon, for stopping by my hub, I appreciate you,your comment and feedback. Bless you. creativeone59

    • yenajeon profile image

      Yena Williams 

      8 years ago from California

      What a great story. But a heartbreaking one too, its disgusting how this can even still be an issue in this day and age. Thanks for the hub creativeone.

    • creativeone59 profile imageAUTHOR

      benny Faye Douglass 

      8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you sweet Lady christinecook, I truly appreciate you, your comments, support and feedback. God bless you as well. creativeone59

    • christinecook profile image

      christinecook 

      8 years ago

      what a great story.I am just looking into selling organic cootn clothing for children in Canada.I like fair trade,God does not like us to make money off the backs of others suffering.It is not right.I have always had a problem with this.I like to make a living,but it is wrong,if others are working hard and not living well to.I could go on for ever,but I want to say thank you for sharing your experience.

      Peace be with you

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