Reparation for Mexican and Filipino Farm Workers

Bibliographic information: Oakland Museum of California: Reparation for Mexican and Filipino Farm Workers.

Brief description: This collection, as the title suggests, is about the reparation for Mexican and Filipino farm workers to their native lands. Mexican and even Mexican American farm workers were rounded up by officials and sent in busloads over the boarder. These resources are from the Oakland Museum of California. This website has a collection of photographs showing living and working conditions of Mexican and Mexican American agriculture laborers in the 1930’s. Each photograph has a short description, as well as quotes from people who experienced or witnessed the conditions. There is also a brief history of Mexican immigration from 1900-1930s, which discusses working and living conditions, exploitation, discrimination and government regulations on immigration.  A museum of California seems to be a reliable source for information on what happens in California.

Qualitative Analysis: There are references and allusions to cultural and historical elements. The economical climate is briefly explained and basic background information is given to aid in the reader’s comprehension. Language closely follows reader’s linguistic base and when academic vocabulary is used it is explained. Several themes are explored. The text is about the early 1900’s so there is distance between the readers and the experiences depicted on the website. However, some students may have family who are or were migrant farm workers. This is more likely in communities with large minority populations. Most students will have heard about workers rights and that agriculture works are often not treated well, but most will not have first (or even second) hand knowledge. Sentence structure contains many complex sentences with several subordinate phrases or clauses and transition words. Photographs are the focal point of the online exhibit and the text offers a bit of historical background to help readers interpret the primary source images.

Subject area: History, Social Studies

Personal thoughts: This website has primary sources of photographs which show living and working conditions of farm workers in the early 1900’s. I think seeing actual photographs of the time will help students visualize what the workers experienced. There is also background information about these workers and how they were treated during that time period.

Subjects/themes: immigration, history, great depression, dust bowl, migrant farm workers, reparations, Mexicans, Filipinos

Awards: Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Series information: Picture This: California Perspectives on American History

Character names/descriptions: Migrant workers featured in the photographs of this exhibit are unidentified.

High interest annotation: Find out about the lives of farm workers in the early 1900’s through historical information and a collection of photographs documenting the time period.

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