Browse Exhibits (2 total)
John L. Spivak and the Role of Investigative Journalism in Exposing Mass Incarceration as New Slavery
Formed from a selection of the John L. Spivak papers and photographs, this exhibit displays the importance of investigative journalism in exposing systematic mistreatment of black prisoners in southern prisons and in promoting policy changes during the Progressive Era. This specific campus archive can reveal the “hidden history” of a form of slavery after its abolition through photographic and journalistic evidence, and how this form of investigation began to be used to counteract the issue of social injustice, as well as raise awareness of worker's rights.
The Texas Farm Workers' Union was an energetic, radical organization with a particular affinity toward direct actions such as wildcat strikes and highly publicized marches. The group, facing incredibly steep odds and with only extremely limited outside support, evidently decided that this particular style of agitation was their best chance at finally achieving the unionization of farm laborers in Texas.
Their urgent, bold, and anti-authoritarian organizational philosophy is a reflection of the strained relationships the Texas Farm Workers' Union had with farm owners and the Texas State government— traditional enemies of labor organizing— as well as with Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers, a less obvious adversary.
The story of the Texas Farm Workers' Union has unsettling implications for the modern observer. Despite their noble cause, the Union was eventually forced to cease operations due to financial difficulties. This points to the limitations of our political system and the injustices that remain entrenched within it, especially those between Texan farm owners and their workers.