[PAST EVENT] Migrant Citizenship and the New Deal's Experiment in Farm Labor Democracy
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- Open to the public
Migrant Citizenship and the New Deal's Experiment in Farm Labor Democracy by Verónica Martínez-Matsuda, Cornell University
A book talk sponsored by the Department of History and Latin American Studies
During the 1930s and 1940s, stringent state and local residency laws, combined with deep-seated racial and class prejudice, left migrant farmworkers without a place to enact their basic rights. Even if they were formally U.S. citizens, farmworkers were regularly denied the right to vote, send their children to school, access public aid, and receive medical care because they were considered non-residents or non-citizens of the community and state in which they were seeking services. In her book, Migrant Citizenship, Veronica Martínez-Matsuda examines the history of the FSA’s Migratory Labor Camp Program and its role in the lives of diverse farmworker families across the U.S. Martínez-Matsuda argues these camps functioned as more than just labor centers aimed at improving agribusiness efficiency. Instead, they represented a profound “experiment in democracy” seeking to secure migrant farmworkers’ full political and social participation in the U.S.
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