Slave Wage

Cristina Kennedy
3 min readOct 29, 2020

When you read or hear the word slave what is the first thing that comes to mind? Do you think of the plantations, or the unjust treatment? These are all pretty accurate representations, but they are ideas of slavery in terms of European colonial history and American slave plantations.

Modern slavery probably did not come up right? Well in today’s blog I a, going to shift gears a little bit. I am still going to talk about immigration, but I will be discussing immigration in America.

Now, I know I have flirted with struggles of immigration in the United States as there are many parallels to the immigration crisis in France, and all of Europe. And, I was planning on writing about immigration in France until I noticed something while on my way to Santa Barbara.

Me and my boyfriend were driving from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. It was the perfect day as the wind blew in our hair, as we watched the views of the ocean not so far away, and listened to the different instruments of the music blessing our ears. I was ready to celebrate my 21st birthday in such a beautiful city with such magnificent views. I mean what can ruin a day like this? Hardly anything right. We were about 30 minutes away from our hotel, having fun enjoying the morning sunlight until we started to pass by what looked like empty agricultural fields. I always knew that California was big in the agriculture business, but didn’t think it would be so close as Santa Barbara.

The planted fruits and vegetables were extremely green. It made me feel as if I were a failure in growing my own fruits and vegetables at home. We drove a few minutes more, on our left was the beautiful ocean on our right were the beautiful fruits of someone’s labor. We reached an area where it began to seem a lot more familiar. I remembered as a young girl passing by a strawberry farm in Norwalk, maybe Cerritos, that was just a 5 minute drive from my aunts house. So, I knew what this plant was. It was a strawberry field of and guess who was working in these fields? You guessed it white people!

This image is called, “Toxic Rise of the California Starberry.” How interesting is that.

Sorry did I confuse you? Of course it wasn’t white people. By the looks of it, it was hard working Latinx people.

Now you may think that I’m stigmatizing, but I promise I come with facts. I was reading a 2018 article in the New York Times about immigration in the U.S, and they found that the majority of illegal immigrants, predominantly Latin Americans, work the fields in the U.S. in order to sustain themselves and their families.

This breaks my heart because people from all over the world illegally and legally immigrate to the United States in search for better lives. It was really hard to I’ve in such a good mood when people were out in these hot fields wearing a face mask just so they could make ends meet, and of course feed America.