John O Hodges News

Black History Month: Professor Emeritus Writes about Being Sharecropper’s Son

John O. Hodges teaching a class.

Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta by sharecroppers, John O. Hodges was expected to work in the fields alongside his parents once he was old enough. His stepfather had different plans. Bargaining with the landowner, Hodges’s stepfather said he would do twice the work if Hodges could go to school, which resulted in a doctorate in religion and literature from the University of Chicago in 1980.