Sims collecting sharecropper history

Published 9:47 am Sunday, March 3, 2002

By By Robbie Byrd, News Editor
A self-proclaimed self-scholar, Kaschiek Sims-Alvarado has been busy over the last few weeks gathering information about long ago, an earlier Atmore and Escambia County.
And it's no easy task.
Why interview these people?
Sims, originally from Atmore but now residing in Atlanta, is working on a video documentary telling the stories of the areas sharecroppers in the early 1900s.
The amazing thing about this project is that it is not federally, state, county or even city funded; the project is privately funded because Sims said it's something she's always wanted to do. And at 29, she decided she would.
Sims, who graduated from Clarke-Atlanta University in 1999 with a masters in African American studies, decided this was a project she felt she wanted to do.
She added, with a slight laugh, "My husband has been supportive, too, but he'll be glad when I'm done."
Sims will spend a month in Atmore collecting the history of sharecroppers.
She said she plans to publish the interviews in several different mediums.
Sims said it can be sometimes hard to find those who lived through these times.
Sims said that so far she has interviewed 8 to 10 people, gathering everything from the social conditions of the time.
She said she was surprised at some of the things she has found.
During the depression of the 1930s, the federal government implemented a program called the Works Progress Administration, a government program designed to help give work to those in need.
One of the programs under this program was the Federal Writers Project. Writers with the FWP spent months gathering information in rural communities, as well as states and larger cities. The completed product was a complete guide to states and cities throughout the nation.
While not associated with the WPA or the FWP, Sims said that her program is very similar.
Sims and her husband, Joel Alvarado, reside in Atlanta. Sims left Atmore in 1991 to attend college in Atlanta. While there, she met her husband. Sims mother, Mildred Sims, resides in Atmore.

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