I chose this article hoping to draw comparisons between the experience of these modern immigrants and those that made the westward voyage from Africa. In her book Saltwater Slavery, Stephanie Smallwood discusses the journey of the “saltwater slave”—those who made the arduous journey from Africa aboard slave ships, arguing that they landed in the New World with no “cognitive map,” (Smallwood, 8) or, in other words, no way to center themselves in their new environment. I had hoped this article would shed some light on the emotional experience of the women coerced into servitude in California. Did they experience a similar feeling of displacement, despite the voluntary nature of the migration?
This article doesn't express the feelings of the women who moved to California in search of work other than to highlight their disappointment in not being given what they were promised. Sadly, it doesn’t surprise me that the women who responded to the ads were mistreated and short-changed. To say this seems to be a recurring theme in African American history is an understatement.