Segments in this Video

"Harvest of Shame" (01:04)


See an excerpt of Edward R. Murrow's documentary that exposed the exploitation of farm workers in the United States. It aired the night after Thanksgiving in 1960.

Farm Labor Organizing Committee (02:50)

Former child laborer Baldemar Velásquez founded FLOC. Learn details of its efforts to change unfair labor practices of Campbell's Soup Company and R.J. Reynolds.

Baldemar Velasquez's Childhood (03:40)

Velasquez describes his childhood as a farm laborer. The most difficult experience is watching as his parents are mistreated.

Decision to Act (02:37)

Velasquez decides at age 12 or 13 that he will strive to create change. He is further motivated by the mistreatment of his relatives.

Civil Rights Movement (02:27)

Velasquez volunteers the for Congress of Racial Equality. His work there makes him decide to follow the lessons of the civil right movement and organize his people.

Reconciliation (03:52)

Velasquez reconciles his frustration with reality and the faith that his mother shows in God. He explains that the difficult life he led has steered him to create change.

Creating Change (01:33)

Velasquez tells corporations that they are good people who are running a system that needs to change. He organizes people to march, boycott, and educate consumers.

R.J. Reynolds Campaign (04:04)

Velasquez has been campaigning for five years, asking R.J. Reynolds to fix the inequality in its supply chain. Velasquez works a summer in the tobacco farm to understand the plight of the workers.

R.J. Reynolds Supply Chain (03:19)

Velasquez describes the supply chain and income discrepancies of farm workers.

North American Free Trade Agreement (02:54)

NAFTA affects the corn market in Mexico. Velasquez suggests allowing labor to be traded freely also, offering Freedom Visas for workers to cross the border in order to work.

Marginalized Democracy (02:50)

Velasquez worries that our nation is moving backward, undoing basic rights that we have fought for over time.

What is Next? (03:13)

Velasquez speaks to his future plans, his faith, and why he does not have a pension.

Velasquez meets Martin Luther King Jr. (02:25)

At the Poor People's Campaign, Velasquez meets many influential human rights activists.

Moyers Concluding Comments (02:08)

Hear an update on the R.J. Reynolds negotiation. Moyers brings attention to the plight of Walmart and McDonalds workers.

Credits & Sponsors: Moyers & Company: Fighting for Farmworkers (01:54)

Credits & Sponsors: Moyers & Company: Fighting for Farmworkers

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Moyers & Company: Fighting for Farmworkers

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Despite miracles of agricultural progress and innovation over the decades, the harsh lives and working conditions of migrant laborers have changed very little. Their cause has been championed in the past by Edward R. Murrow, Cesar Chavez, and the United Farm Workers, but that list is incomplete without Baldemar Velásquez. Velásquez was among hundreds of thousands of children who joined their migrant parents working long hours in the fields. Shaped by that early experience, Velásquez founded the influential Farm Labor Organizing Committee. In this edition of Moyers & Company, Velásquez, a MacArthur Fellow, joins Bill to talk about the ongoing David versus Goliath struggles to ensure fairness for American farmworkers. Broadcast date: July 19, 2013. (43 minutes)

Length: 43 minutes

Item#: BVL55218

ISBN: 978-0-81608-624-5

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.