The time of the Dust Bowl was when many Oklahomans, Texans, Arkansans, and Missourians were migrating to California due to poor living conditions and financial issues. Their quest and stay has been one to note relatable to our current time.
Mine and many of my friend’s parents migrated to California from their home country. We all have an interesting story to tell from their bizarre journey to the states. Unlike our parents, the “Okies” traveled within the states, but still suffered from their own troubles on the way. Though it isn’t a “rag to riches” tale like how in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck portrays, it’s a relatable story for our generation to connect back with our immigrant parents.
The Okies staying in California was rough in the beginning. They were branded as outsiders and cowboys, let alone being called “Okies” used as a derogatory term for “poor white trash”. The migrants made up an eighth of California’s population so of course an unpopular minority would form. Soon after in the mid-1930’s, country music was heard on radio stations. Though the Californians thought of it to be unsophisticated, it soon lead to an era of Okie pride. People were sharing their heritage through their bumper stickers and belts and soon the migrant discrimination settled to a calm.
I think today’s generation is the most accepting is has been. Social media, though viewed negatively to some, helps you connect to your peers’ views and behaviors and demonstrates their opinions to all sorts of subjects. The fight for social justice has rocketed millions of Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts, and Tumblr. I never miss huge storylines about racial segregation, sexual segregation, etc. due to how aware and socially involved our generation is. Though we aren’t quite there yet, we’ve made so much progress from what we were. This connects back to how Okies were discriminated at first, and then embraced what was.
Nowadays, teenagers and young adults take pride in their heritage and empower each other to embrace their true selves. #BlackOut and the fight for Asian Americans to be casted in today’s movies are examples of how this generation is for equality among all races.