Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Mary Clarke, Crawford Crowe, Lynwood Montell

Degree Program

Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This study documents the lifestyle on a small, prosperous black farmstead in the Richland community of Butler County, Kentucky. It is based on extensive fieldwork and interviews conducted with Percy Beeson, owner of the farm for aver fifty years. The result of the fieldwork and interviews was the documentation of how this farmstead, maintained without mechanical farm equipment, worked as a functional unit on a year-round basis.

As a functional unit, the Beeson farmstead is described in terms of the Beeson family and their ownership of the farm and the breakdown of the property into two dependent units. In the first area, the Family Unit, the food supply and home industries were prepared and supervised by the women of the household. These activities are discussed according to the seasons of the year, beginning with spring and ending with winter. The second area, the Farm Unit, was run by the Beeson men and contained the major crops and farm animals. This area is also described according to the seasons of the year. The results of this study clearly portray this non-mechanized, small black farmstead as a functional and traditional economic enterprise for Percy Beeson.


African American Studies | Agriculture | Anthropology | Ethnic Studies | Folklore | History | Life Sciences | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Rural Sociology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social History | Sociology | United States History