Friday, November 26, 2010

"Harvest of Shame" Revisited - 50 years later

The original "Harvest of Shame" was broadcast on the day after Thanksgiving, 1960. Fifty years later, CBS Evening News returned to Immokalee to revisit Florida's fields and, thanks to the recent advances in the Campaign for Fair Food, found reason for hope. Check out the video above, and then click here to see excerpts from the original documentary.

And when you're done, just take a moment to consider the inexplicable -- some might say infuriating -- refusal of companies like Publix, Ahold, and Kroger to support the process of change that is underway today in Florida's fields.

While the harvest itself may no longer be as shameful as it was when Edward R. Murrow first brought farm labor exploitation to the consciousness of the nation fifty years ago, the attitude of the major supermarket companies certainly is. And, ultimately, it is their attitude that will either hold this movement back -- and so hold farmworkers in continuing and unpardonable poverty and degradation -- or allow justice to truly flourish, and make real the dreams of farmworkers and Fair Food activists across the country of an agricultural industry where workers are paid a fair wage and treated with dignity.

This Thanksgiving, we give thanks for the huge steps forward this campaign has taken over the past year, and for the hope that progress gives us that, one day, those men and women who run our country's giant supermarket chains will find their way to doing the right thing by those people whose undervalued labor has built their riches for so very long.

But until they do, we will continue to fight for fundamental human rights in Florida's tomato fields. And you can join us -- click here for more on the CIW's Supermarket Campaign and plans for the big actions in Boston and Tampa this coming spring.

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