Popularized during the Bracero Program, these border ballads have become oral histories documenting the lives of contract laborers, exploring themes such as their struggle as ephemeral, racialized entities in American society [1]. While evidencing the discrimination and violence endured at the hands of U.S. farmers, law enforcement, and government, they also illustrate the subversive identities cultivated to contrast their exploitation. Click image to listen [2].

[1] Herrera-Sobek, Maria. Northward Bound: The Mexican Immigrant Experience in Ballad and Song. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1993. 134-137. Print.

[2] Spener, David. Clandestine Crossings: Migrants and Coyotes on the Texas Mexico Border. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2009. 150-156. Print.