Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years a slave (New York: Penguin Books, 2012). (461)


Gregory, James. “Dust Bowl Legacies: The Okie Impact on California, 1939-1989.”



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Gregory, James. “Dust Bowl Legacies: The Okie Impact on California, 1939-1989.” California History 68 (1989): 74-85. (11)
Stories from the Dust Bowl have become part of the blood of United States history, making even bigger names for artists like Dorothea Lange and John Steinbeck who became the most well known chroniclers of the movement to the frontier. In James Gregory’s piece, “Dust Bowl Legacies: The Okie Impact on California, 1939-1989”, an examination of the transitions from the East to the West are documented and, ultimately, dispelled as fairly early in the piece Gregory explains that “these tragic images of this migration [are] overblown…the experience was often tough, certainly by the standards of white middle-class society” but it was minimal as far as travel, legislation, and obstacles in juxtaposition to the migration to the United States from other countries169. Gregory ultimately expresses the notion that Okies, to a certain extent, infiltrated the California territory and made of it a second home, effect everything from the state’s politics to their menus to their relationships with minority populations. Though the impact may be more subtle in today’s population, as the effects have grown more ingrained and part of the day-to-day normality, Okies left behind a solid mark on California culture. Although already established communities and populations were wary about letting Okie populations join the ranks, the newcomers established their own communities throughout California, where many second-generation populations still reside. It is important to realize the impact that practically every population immigrating to California had on the state and its relationship within itself and with the nation as a whole - realizations like this help to further the understanding of history and its impact on the present.


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