Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964
September 24 - October 25, 2013
In 1943, President Roosevelt announced the creation of what would become the largest Mexican guest-worker program in U.S. history. Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964, a new bilingual (English/Spanish) exhibition created by the National Museum of American History and organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), explores this chapter of American history.
The Reynolds Gallery is proud to present Bittersweet Harvest on view September 24 - October 25. An opening reception will be held in the gallery Friday September 27, 4:00 -6:00 p.m.
Between 1942 and 1964, millions of Mexican men came to the United States on short-term labor contracts. Both bitter and sweet, the Bracero experience tells a story of exploitation but also of opportunity. The exhibition explores the braceros' contributions to communities in Mexico and the United States, the opportunities that became available to braceros and the challenges that they faced as guest workers during the war years and afterward. Included in the exhibition are 15 freestanding banners featuring oral histories, quotes and the work of famed photojournalist Leonard Nadel who, in 1956, exposed employer violations endured by many braceros. The Nadel photos inspired the museum's work on Bittersweet Harvest and the Bracero History Project, which also includes audio clips of former braceros relating their experiences. The firsthand accounts were collected as part of the project's oral-history initiative.
Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964 is organized by the National Museum of American History and organized for travel by SITES. Funding is made possible through the Smithsonian's Latino Center, which celebrates Latino culture, spirit and achievement in America by facilitating the development of exhibitions, research, collections and education programs.
Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), "Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964" (2013). Reynolds Gallery Exhibits Archive. 24.