During the 1930s, sharecroppers in the Southern United States experienced turmoil when the Great Depression set in as crops failed and landlords stripped sharecroppers of their land. Ulysses Albritton was one of 10 children in a sharecropper family in Bogue Chitto, Mississippi that lived and breathed the hardships of the Great Depression. Farming was a way of life for the Albritton family dating back to their early colonization of the United States. During the early 1600s, the Irish Albritton ancestors colonized in Virginia and began potato farming on the fertile land, starting the 400 year tradition.
The struggle for survival and class mobility found Albritton enlisting in the United States Marine Corps at age 17, where he was given something he had never had before – his own pair of shoes. After 30 years of service and fighting in WWII, Vietnam and the Korean War, Albritton retired from the Corps as a decorated soldier, settled into a New Orleans suburb with his wife and two daughters, and continued the family farming tradition in his own backyard.
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