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The Fruits of Their LaborAtlantic Coast Farmworkers and the Making of Migrant Poverty, 1870-1945$
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Cindy Hahamovitch

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780807846391

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807899922_hahamovitch

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(p.3) Introduction
The Fruits of Their Labor

Cindy Hahamovitch

University of North Carolina Press

This book begins with a description of how a typical day went in Belle Glade during the Second World War, when the green beans were plentiful and the pickers scarce. When the proportions were reversed during the 1930s, however, the predawn scene in this migrant town looked very different. The growers would save their bribes and cut short their descriptions of their waiting fields. Though they offered only 15 to 25 cents a hamper, their trucks were soon crammed with pickers; those not quick enough to get onto the flat beds were reduced to hanging onto the sideboards or lying across the hoods. When the weight of the pickers was so great that a truck could not move from the loading area because the sagging floorboards pressed into the tires, the driver's helper would circle the vehicle, beating the hangers-on with a stout piece of wood until enough pickers loosened their grip so the truck could pull away.

Keywords:   typical day, Belle Glade, Second World War, green beans, pickers

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