“Wearing Their Own Tombstones on Their Backs”

Robert H. Woodrum

in Migration and the Transformation of the Southern Workplace since 1945

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034034
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038261 | DOI:
“Wearing Their Own Tombstones on Their Backs”

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  • History of the Americas


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This chapter examines migration in two important ways. First, it addresses the transformation of coal mining in Alabama as deep-mining gave way to strip-mining throughout the state. This created circumstances in which miners had to become more mobile and periodically travel throughout the state for work. Second, it presents the migration of capital from Alabama to Colombia, as the Drummond Company abandoned deep-mining in Alabama for deep-mining in Colombia, where labor and corporation laws were much less regulated. As the company moved into Colombia, the conditions of workers in Alabama became much more transitory and tenuous while their lives became linked with their contemporaries in Colombia.

Keywords: migration; coal mining; Alabama; strip-mining; miners; transient labor; Colombia; Drummond Company; deep-mining

Chapter.  13821 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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