Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

George T. McJimsey


This is a study of a black farm community called Brooks Farm. The research was designed to examine the total experience of Brooks Farm residents. The Brooks Farm community is located in Drew, Mississippi, a small rural town in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta. This study covers a period of fifty years, 1920-1970, in order to show changes that occurred in the community. The Brooks Farm community was formerly established as a plantation during the 1920s. It became the only plantation in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta that evolved into a community of black landowners during the 1940s. Brooks Farm was created by a wealthy white Virginian named Palmer Herbert Brooks, the man for whom the community was named;The dissertation utilizes primary and secondary sources, especially research collected from fifty residents who agreed to participate in this study. It shows how residents in the Brooks Farm community used their resources and energies to found and manage their schools and churches as well as to create Jobs within the community. This research provides analyses on landownership and land tenure, migration, housing, health and medical care, food and nutrition, family life, role of women, impact of technology, labor, mechanization, and the significance of the church and school. In essence, it is a social, economic, and cultural study that analyzes family and community life from the vantage point of the people;The research presented in this dissertation shows that Brooks Farm residents succeeded in developing their community. They adopted community enhancement values, implemented progressive programs and ideologies, developed a rural economy, and established support networks that were essential for community development.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Valerie Grim



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

422 pages