In the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, the Bracero Program brought thousands of Mexican workers into the Arkansas delta to address labor shortages there. Though white landowners welcomed this, Juan Crown and Jim Crow existed side-by-side as Mexican workers suffered from and fought against the prevalent racial and ethnic discrimination in the region. Braceroes challenged discrimination and the economic exploitation that underpinned it. One particularly successful campaign resulted in the establishment of the first minimum wage for farm workers in the Arkansas delta, something that had been fiercely resisted in the past, and which black and white farmers also benefited from. You can find out more about the bracero program in Arkansas in a new edited collection of essays published in December by the University of Arkansas Press called Race and Ethnicity in Arkansas: New Perspectives.
The Bracero Program in Arkansas
By John Kirk • Nov 21, 2014