Southern Tenant Farmers Museum
117 Main Street,PO Box 195, Tyronza, AR 72386 - United States
On a hot summer day in 1934, a group of sharecroppers came together to form the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and made history by involving both black and white farmers, as well as placing women alongside men in leadership positions. Today their original headquarters in Tyronza, Arkansas – a dry cleaners and gas station owned by two of the organizers – serves as a museum dedicated to the sharecropper lifestyle and Depression-era farm labor activities that grew into a national movement.
The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum enhances knowledge and understanding of tenant farming and agricultural labor movements in the Mississippi River Delta region and preserves the cultural memory of sharecropping and its struggles. The museum exhibits located in the historic Mitchell-East Building focus on the development of the tenant farming and sharecropping system of agriculture in Arkansas, the formation and history of the union, and the story of how changes within the agricultural industry affected those who worked the fields. Facades of the building have been restored to their 1930s appearance, while the interior has been modified to include the museum, reception area, gift shop, office and classroom. Stories are told through historic photographs, artifacts related to tenant farming, oral history excerpts, 1930s news reel footage, and interactive exhibits featuring STFU songs, poems, and interviews with former union leaders.
In addition to our permanent exhibit, we will have a special exhibit on John Handcox and the music of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union that discusses the legacy of the Union within the larger national and international labor rights and protest movements. The museum is open from 9 am to 3 pm, and the tour is self-guided, with docents available to any questions and assist visitors with our interactive exhibits.
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