Tuesday, November 16, 7 pm.

Nelson Mandela Auditorium, Fedex Global Education Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Harvest of Shame

Edward R. Murrow, NBC News. (USA, 1960) 55 min.

Legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow's Harvest of Shame is among the most famous television documentaries of all time. Richly photographed and arrestingly poignant, this long-acclaimed 1960 exposé on the plight of migrant farm workers resonated deeply for a nation unfamiliar with such brutally honest depictions of living conditions that, as Murrow remarks, "wrong the dignity of man." Smartly televised to millions of Americans the day after Thanksgiving to better tap into their emotions, Murrow's indispensable classic led to permanent changes in the laws protecting workers' rights. Murrow started his broadcast the day after Thanksgiving Day, November 1960: “This scene is not taking place in the Congo. It has nothing to do with Johannesburg or Cape Town. It is not Nyasaland or Nigeria. This is Florida… This is a shape-up for migrant workers. The hawkers are chanting the going piece rate at the various fields. This is the way the humans who harvest the food for the best-fed people in the world get hired. One farmer looked at this and said, “We used to own our slaves; now we just rent them.…”  He ended the same broadcast saying: “The migrants have no lobby. Only an enlightened, aroused and perhaps angered public opinion can do anything about the migrants. The people you have seen have the strength to harvest your fruit and vegetables. They do not have the strength to influence legislation. Maybe we do. Good night, and good luck.”



Farmworker Advocacy Network and Minnow Media

27 minutes

On the 50th anniversary of the original Harvest of Shame documentary, the NC Farmworker Advocacy Network (FAN) and Minnow Media present Harvest of Dignity, a documentary exploring the conditions migrant and seasonal farmworkers face in the United States today. Farm and poultry work is some of the most difficult, most dangerous, and most important work in our community. Largely a Latino population of migrants from Mexico and Central America, these workers still face poverty, food insecurity, hazardous working conditions and few protections under the law. North Carolina is home to roughly 150,000 farmworkers and 28,000 poultry workers and their families. The vast majority of the fruits and vegetables and nearly all of the poultry we eat are picked or processed by hand. However, the people who feed our families through their hard work are often among the worst paid and least protected workers in our state. Using documentary photos and interviews done by Student Action with Farmworkers interns, film footage with NC farmworkers, legislators and educators, and clips from the original Harvest of Shame documentary, this piece focuses on safe places to live, safe places to work, education, and enforcement of workplace laws.  This film was produced in collaboration with the Farmworker Advocacy Network’s Harvest of Dignity campaign to reform conditions for NC field and poultry workers.
Spanish and English with English subtitles
Panel discussion of advocates and farmworkers to follow film.

2010 SAF documentary work from SAF on Vimeo.

Work in progress, 2010 farmworkers documentary