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Los Mileros

The 1,000 pound cotton pickers during the 1940s-60s in America.

What was it like working in the fields? Well, it’s laborious work and sometimes dangerous, encountering rattlesnakes. Every year the family had to go out in the road to many towns to pick cotton. This was for six to seven months of the year to make enough money to support our family and to survive. Without the cotton fields, there was no way to make it. Working in the cold weather and summer months were the worst. I was one of twelve in my family.

Our predicament was not a matter of choice, but a matter of being born. Back in the day, the cotton fields became our only salvation and provided opportunities for a better life. We traveled the road of hope; the road of struggles; the road of injustice, hate, and discrimination—the roads we traveled to make enough money just to pay our bills and eat. For over twenty years, those roads were traveled in the forties, fifties, and sixties. Working in the cotton fields was hope—a stepping stone to a better future, which was our hope.