Event Details

Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964 exhibition

SITES has created a poster exhibition based on the Smithsonian exhibition Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964. This exhibit explores the little-known story of the Bracero Program, the largest guest worker program in U.S. history. Between 1942 and 1964, millions of Mexican men came to the U.S. on short-term labor contracts.
Facing labor shortages on the home front during World War II, the United States initiated a series of agreements with Mexico to recruit guest workers for American farms and railroads. The Emergency Farm Labor Program, more familiarly known as the Bracero Program, enabled approximately 2 million Mexicans to enter the United States. While the work was often grueling, the program offered participants economic opportunity. The contributions made by these laborers have had a significant impact on the political, economic and social climate of both the United States and Mexico. Also on display at the Museum will be panels that present stories of how the Bracero Program made its way to Rhode Island.
Complimenting the Smithsonian poster exhibit, the Museum, in partnership with Rhode Island Latino Arts, will present “This Kind of Love, Our Love: Latino Stories in the Blackstone Valley, 1960s-Today.” “This Kind of Love” continues the themes of “Bittersweet Harvest” locally, presenting the history of Latino settlement and community-building over the past half-century in Rhode Island’s Blackstone Valley region, from Central Falls to Woonsocket. Historical artifacts, an art installation, and collected oral histories will complement the informational posters, making these stories come alive. “Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964” was organized by the National Museum of American History in partnership with the SITES, and received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.