SHARECROPPING and TENANT FARMING: After the Civil War plantation owners needed labor and freed blacks needed jobs. Since it was illegal for slaves to be educated or receive money many freed blacks were forced into borrowing money (credit) from white plantation owners to pay for a place to live, food, medicine, tools, seed, and fertilizer. Freed blacks would receive a “share” of the profits or crops that they worked from the planters land. The money earned could not pay down the debt they owed to the planter, thus a cycle of poverty continued. Laws were passed to keep blacks working on the planter’s property until all debts were paid.