Harvest Gypsies

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The Dustbowl migrants were different than most of the other groups of migrants who came to work in the fields of California. These were other Americans who had not long ago had lived a life that was similar to the farmers whom they were now working for. The other migrants came from other countries and most of them were probably used to living in poverty, so when they came to work as the peon class in America they were already used to hard working conditions for very little compensation. In their transition from being regular working class American’s to migrants they had to forget how comfortably they had once lived and learned to live in a life of death, despair and poverty. On top of it all they lost their ability to be a part of a Democratic community where they were able to vote and participate in local government. (pg. 23) To become one of an “unprivileged class” would leave any man feeling powerless and shameful as the patriarch of a family. Unfortunately in a patriarchal society when the father loses his drive it trickles down through the entire family.
The migrants became known as Okies to the locals, despite the fact that many of them came from many other parts of the United States than Oklahoma. Okies were treated as outcasts and locals were unhappy about their migration to their towns. The camps in which the migrants lived were filthy. The locals saw them as an eye sore to their community. During the recent recession tent cities like this popped up all over. There was a large tent city in my city of Sacramento, CA. It is sad to think that many of those people were once successful, hard-working people, who had fallen on hard times, but regardless of how heart breaking their story may have been they were still forced to leave the camps that they called home. They were found in violation of city camping codes. The community was happy when these camps were evacuated because the camps were destroying the land in which they lay. Squatters were disrupting

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