This article examines the first five years of the United Farm Workers' unionization of Minute Maid's workers in Florida. The UFW in Florida was a multiracial organization that reflected the "Nuevo South's" changing demographics in the 1970s. UFW organizers Mack and Diana Lyons, along with volunteer staff and rank-and-file members, cultivated a difficult but tenacious solidarity across racial lines through conscious, day-to-day activity in the union and in the community.
My book is about my work toward structural change in agriculture. We founded this country, I say we collectively, to be governed by “We the People.” That looked good on paper, but of course we know that Jefferson didn’t really mean everybody. What we’ve had since 1776 is a grand experiment in making a representative democracy work.
Core Sound is a shallow body of water in eastern North Carolina that carries the Core Sound National Seashore on its eastern shoulder and the Carteret County peninsula on its west. Between Beaufort, the mainland town that has prettied itself up over recent decades, and Cedar Island, a jumping-off point by ferry for the tourist destination of Ocracoke, a handful of small fishing villages comprise the area locally known as “Down East.”
While doing research on textiles during the Great Depression, I found this poem about Ella May Wiggins on the March 8, 1932 editorial page of the Greensboro Daily News in a regular column titled “Shucks and Nubbins.” The author signed the piece with the initials S. A. J., but did not provide any other information about the poem.
The American South has always been a mythic land of contrast and juxtaposition—black and white, rich and poor, mountaineer and planter, hospitality and violence, unregulated development and a sense of place, greed and grace, illiteracy and great writing—and it remains so today. One of the more intriguing paradoxes is the image of the South as the Bible Belt, a place where fundamentalist zealots constantly damn deviant behavior, and as the land of the honky-tonk, a place where good ole boys and girls push the limits of drinking, dancing, dalliance, and debauchery.