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County Health Department said the only improvement she sees is that with farmworkers and their families eating better because of food stamps, there are fewer cases of malnutrition. That is something. But it is not much, and it is no answer. Farmworkers don’t need food stamps they need a fair wage so they can buy food like everyone else. Not only would a decent wage be fairer to them, it would be fairer to taxpayers and make for a healthier economy. How to get there? By allowing farmworkers to organize themselves into economic units that would put them on an equal footing with other groups in the agricultural economy. Farmers have, in some cases, looked out for themselves by forming cooperatives or banding together in political organizations such as the Farm Bureau. Corporations commonly band together in associations and lobbying organizations. ,Farmworkers in Hidalgo County have attempted to protect their interests as other laborers have through unionization. Not that unionization would be a panacea. The fact is inescapable that there is too little work in Hidalgo County for too many people. The idea of unionization does, however, recognize that “farmworker” is an occupational, not a welfare, category. And it would get at the real problem by giving otherwise powerless individuals some tools to cope with the economic system, rather than leaving them no alternative but to accept society’s handouts. . . . John Davidson February 3, 1978 Jim Crow Revisited Mansfield, Fort Worth The Reverend Floyd Moody, pastor of Fort Worth’s Mount Horum Baptist Church, grins and shakes his head as he scans the old newspaper clippings. “I don’t remember much of this. The press blew it all out of proportion. Of course, we were just kids, and maybe our parents hid some things from us, but I don’t remember ever being really scared.” The clippings from 1956 are datelined Mansfield, Texas. They describe events beginning when three black teenagers tried to enroll in the local high school and ending with the first federal court order to integrate a Texas school district. Floyd Moody was one of the three. He doesn’t look like a “troublemaker” now, and probably didn’t then. Downplaying his role, he emphasizes that “we were just young folks and not really expecting too much to come of it. But in every situation, somebody’s got to be the first; somebody’s got to break the ice. ” .. . What justice, federal court orders, and brotherly love couldn’t accomplish, money, or the lack of it, did. Nine years later, in 1965 when faced with the loss of federal funds the school board voted to comply with school integration provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. . . . The only rancor Moody reveals comes when discussing lost opportunities. He believes many black kids dropped out of school simply because the effort to attend was too great. \(One who didn’t drop out was his fellow classmate and busmate from Mansfield, Leonard Briscoe, now a Fort Worth Moody feels he could have been an athlete, had he been able to go to school in his hometown, where he could have practiced every afternoon instead of taking the 5 p.m. bus. Maybe sport would have led to a college scholarship not just for him, but for others as well. “And I can’t help but think Mansfield would have gained something by having us there.” .. . Floyd Moody’s recollections are those of an adolescent; he was only 17 in 1956. But Ira Gibson, who was on the school board then, refuses to talk about those days. “It was such a sad situation, and I’m not very proud of it.” Credit, then, to a man somewhere past retirement age, a man a generation older than Floyd Moody, a man who saw his placid town suddenly torn by criticism and controversy, for admitting some shame, whether for the school board’s actions or the town’s, he won’t elaborate. Credit to Floyd Moody, who shows no particular bitterness to the community that forced him to walk those miles and ride that bus. He seems to recognize that Mansfield was no different from any other small Texas town of the ’50s. Nodding toward his wife Dorothy, he even says if he were starting all over again, if it were 20 years ago when he and Dorothy married, he would return to Mansfield to raise his family. “It’s a good place for kids,” he says. Sheila Taylor June 9, 19 78 Teamwork: Killing HB 227 Session after legislative session the farmworkers have tried, politely and with a faith-in-the-system ingenu ousness, to pass a simple bill that would let them join the ranks of Texas workers who are allowed to form a union and bargain collectively with their employers. If any group needs this basic tool of economic democracy it is these Texas workers, whose average annual family income is about $3,900. This session, the Texas Farm Workers Union hoped to achieve the modest goal of getting a House vote on the issue after years of marches and publicity and interim legislative studies, the House leadership had never allowed matters to go that far. This time, the farmworkers laid their plans carefully, with a contingent of workers gathering petition signatures and public support on a long march to Austin from Muleshoe. They met with members of the American Agriculture Movement and gained their support for the principle of farmworker bargaining. They drew their bill carefully in order to lessen objections to it, and they asked a moderate, legislative veteran, Rep. Tony Garcia of Pharr, to be chief sponsor of the measure. With a new line-up on the committee this session, they felt that HB 227 might finally get a fair test and be reported to the floor. But the House leaders especially Speaker Bill Clayton blocked it again. For a while, it seemed unlikely that the agriculture committee would take testimony on the bill. Forrest Green of Corsicana, a millionaire and “gentleman farmer” who chairs the ag panel, let it be known early that “this bill doesn’t stand a Chinaman’s chance of passing in the House even if it got out of committee. And it won’t get out of committee.” .. . Vicki Vaughan September 22, 19 78 The Black `Lost Generation’ In The Wall Street Journal of September 8, a story appeared which should make everyone tremble with fear. The story concerned “a lost generation of black youth,” lost because the problem of unemployment among black youth “seems almost unsolvable.” In August of this year, 37.4% of blacks between 16 and 19 were unemployed as compared with 17% of whites in the same age group. Among blacks between 20 and 24, 22% were unemployed as compared with 10% of whites. . . . Hiding in that lovely phrase, “lost generation,” which calls up images of Hemingway in Paris in the twenties, is the most nefarious prospect for the future, because who “lost” this genera THE TEXAS OBSERVER 53