Crackers were poor white folk who lived in the south during the antebellum era. Given their name because of their staple diet of crack-corn, crackers were often hired by plantation owners in order to replace a slave in dangerous jobs. The high prices of slaves during the 1830s and 40s made It efficient to use a cracker rather than a slave. If a planter lost or injured a slave he would be pressed to buy another slave, but if the cracker got injured or died, finacially, the planter would have been unaffected. Crackers had a very low standard of living. Many of them lived in forests and dug holes in the ground to live in. despite their living conditions and their social status, crackers stilled believed they were better than the african slaves. Today, cracker is often used as a derogatory term for a white person for obvious reasons. It implies a person who lives in the utmost worst conditions and a person who no one really cares about.
Southern Women: We have some water dripping into the house. I think it is comin from the roof.
Southern plantation owner: I'll get a cracker to fix it.
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