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Syndic Literary Journal

Photo Essay: California Farmworker – No Child Left Behind


Photo by John Kouns (1965)

 Winter months are desperate times for farmworkers and their children.  There is little work available and their harvest incomes from the summer have long been spent. Fortunately, this mother was able to find work tying vines after the winter pruning season; unfortunately, she had to bring her small children with her – one carrying a doll – to “play with” –  in the fields during her work hours. What a choice! – stay home and take care of your children or find work to be able to feed them.
The idea that farmworkers, who slave in the state’s largest industry, should have access to affordable childcare is unimaginable – why is that? For the same reason  the idea that 3 million farmworkers should be eligible to receive the same protections of the national labor law as was given to all other U.S. workers in 1935 is unimaginable.
When will we begin to imagine that farmworkers must be emancipated from their enforced lives of involuntary servitude? When will we begin to imagine that farmworker children need the same educational opportunities as our own children and
grandchildren? What a golden day that will be!


Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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