Odd that a simple plant would become such a politically charged symbol (Although not the only case, thinking of that green, leafy plant).
It makes a beautiful field, but it is a nasty, nasty, plant. If you don’t know, the stalks are iron-hard, black, sharp-edged pieces of whip-leather, as are the split open boll casings.
They cut flesh like they were designed to do it, and I have seen the hands of some who spent a lifetime picking it; gnarled, scar-ridden, clubs that were barely recognizable.
Everybody has heard of Eli Whitney, who invented the Cotton Gin, but it was Cyrus McCormick who invented the cotton reaper, back in the 1870’s and slowly started the movement of humans out of the cotton fields.
But as revolutionary as the reaper was, it was still something only affordable by the largest operations, and smaller farms and share-croppers continued hand picking into the 20th century.
It was a life of pain and agony, and probably something that damn near none of us can even comprehend now.