Category: Social change

Tomato machines carry farmworkers to sort newly-picked tomatoes in the fields of Stanislaus County, near the Westley Head Start center. Years ago, center supervisor Ismelda Cantu decided she didn't want to make the hot, dusty labor on the tomato machines her life work.

Migrant Head Start: Following the Seasons of the Soil

WESTLEY, California – Just as farmwork has changed, so has care for children of those who work in America’s fields. Head Start, for migrant farmworkers’ children, follows their parents’ seasons on the soil. A father weary after a day in the fields picks up his

The soul of the new ghetto lies in service workers like Mourtala Sall and his wife. He drives taxis six nights a week, and she cares for their two-year-old daughter while earning up to $50 an hour braiding hair for African-American women in their kitchens. They are saving to open a Senegalese restaurant, the first one, Mourtala hopes, to cross out of Harlem and into middle-class Manhattan. "Americans like our food," Mourtala says. "But white people won't go to Harlem."

Caste Party: Africa Arrives in America

The United Gnegnos of America held their annual ball recently at the Bronx’s Parkside Plaza. Gnegnos (pronounced “NYE nyose”) are a caste, actually the lowest caste, among the city’s 20,000-odd Senegalese immigrants. To attend a Gnegnos function, to have even heard of it (I received

The Jamaica Progressive League attracted more than 300 people in a new voter/citizens drive held a Guayanan retaurant in Brooklyn's Flatbush section this March. Would-be citizens paid $120 each for photographs, fingerprints and notarized registration forms. The first citizens will be sworn in this summer. Photo by Rachel L. Cobb

Brooklyn’s Anti-Poverty Workers: Caribbean Immigrants

Family values, religion and community renewal are among the pillars of conservative ideology, and rallying-points of Republican legislators who tend to represent districts that are rural, white and affluent. In Democratic Brooklyn, particularly the mainly black, mainly poor neighborhood called Fort Greene, the Republican Personal

Boggan found that exercising his right to a jury tial resulted in years more imprisonment than most of his fellow inmates who committed crimes where victims were injured or killed. He is scheduled to remain in Illinois prisons until 2025. Photo by John Sundlof

Using Your Rights Means Extra Years in Prison

Vincent Boggan is among the few inmates in the Pontiac Correctional Center–a maximum-security prison in Pontiac, Illinois–who avail themselves of the free classes offered. He has already earned an “Associate of Applied Science”–a vocational degree–and now is working on an “Associate in General Studies”–a college-level

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Traveling for a family: The Remittance Economy

According to the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, immigrants are the “tired… poor… the huddled masses yearning to be free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore… the homeless, tempest-tossed.” Unfortunately, those words did not fit when Emma Lazarus wrote them in 1883, and