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No Man's LandJamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor$
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Cindy Hahamovitch

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691102689

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691102689.001.0001

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“Stir it Up”

“Stir it Up”

Jamaican Guestworkers in the Promised Land

Chapter:
(p.50) Chapter Three “Stir it Up”
Source:
No Man's Land
Author(s):

Cindy Hahamovitch

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691102689.003.0004

This chapter examines the experiences of the Jamaican guestworkers who came to the United States during World War II. These guestworkers were an unusually worldly, educated, and articulate group of farmworkers. Determined to be treated as the equals of whites, they boldly defied growers' expectations that they would be cheap, tractable, and submissive. They responded decisively to affronts to their dignity and violations of their contracts. They were British war workers and volunteers, and for a few months at least they were treated as such by U.S. officials and the liaison officers assigned to enforce the terms of their contracts. Those few months were the pinnacle of the U.S. guestworker programs; it would be downhill from there.

Keywords:   Jamaican guestworkers, World War II, war workers, U.S. guestworker programs, U.S. farmworker programme, Emergency Farm Labor Importation Program

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