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Into the Valley:
Stories of California Exile

It is a land set apart. California’s Great Middle. No valley is more vast. No soil is more fertile. No place is more paradoxical. Bounty and poverty side by side.

This is the story of the rise of the San Joaquin Valley told through the voices of the migrants and immigrants who made it home. The West of West Center is a first-of-a-kind repository of their narratives. Our mission is to gather their tales and offer them to you in the form of oral histories, online exhibits and newly published books.

Here you will meet the men and women who dug their hands into the valley dirt, who carved its fields, corralled its rivers, drained its lakes, grew its crops, picked its harvests, built its cities and created its sprawl. Their voices have been preserved with the hope they might be discovered again–and find their place in history.

Black Okies >>