strawberry fields

A few years ago, while teaching my introductory Asian American history course, I decided to personalize the subject of my lecture, truck farming. Most students who take an Asian American history course will learn that Asian Americans contributed significantly to American agriculture and farming, far more so than for their significant, but short-lived work on the transcontinental railroad. It is one thing, however, to learn about farming in the abstract, removed from its actual practice and experience, and another to consider it from the perspective of those who worked in the fields. It surprised many of my students that their Harvard and Berkeley-educated professor had any such experience.

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