Ned Cobb (1885-1973) was a tenant farmer born in Tallapoosa County in Alabama. His autobiography was pseudonymously published in the book All God's Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw, as told to Theodore Rosengarten. Rosengarten and that book won the 1975 U.S. National Book Award in category Contemporary Affairs.
Cobb was the fourth of more than twenty children of a father who had been a slave. (The children had at least three mothers and some were illegitimate.) The father had been emotionally and physically scarred by his experiences, and responded to his emotional and financial frustrations by beating and berating his wives, children, and others he loved. Ned left his father's house to begin sharecropping on his own at the age of 19; he married and began a family about the same time.
Cobb became one of the most successful sharecroppers (or black men in all occupations) in the rural Jim Crow regulated county. Within a few years he owned his own mules, a truck, and a car (all of them paid for, he was very proud to note) and had electricity and plumbing in his house. All of those distinctions distanced him from most black men and many poor white farmers in his vicinity.