In 1960, CBS News broadcasted the documentary special Harvest of Shame about migrant workers across the United States. Premiering on Thanksgiving and presented by journalist Edward R. Murrow, the televised event sought to shine a spotlight on the harsh working and living conditions these people endured to put food on the average American’s table in exchange for barely enough pay to survive.
Documentaries like Murrow’s remain a heralded advocacy medium due to their educational nature. But while Murrow sought to provoke and assemble viewers by amplifying the voices of these migrant workers a little over six decades ago, the poor treatment of day laborers is but one issue that has translated over to the 21st century. In fact, Florida leads the country in wage theft violations, according to WeCount!, an organization dedicated to low-wage immigrant workers in South Miami-Dade.