Saturday, August 23, 2014

Quilts Are Backdrop to Fed Up Book Reading and Presentation at Orange County Public Library

Author Dale Slongwhite, former Lake Apopka farmworker Linda Lee, and Farmworker Association of Florida Pesticide Project Coordinator, Jeannie Economos spoke to a group of interested listeners at the Orange County Library Downtown Orlando Main Branch on Saturday, August 16th.  A slice of local history that has gone untold, until the publication of the book Fed Up: The High Costs of Cheap Food, was an eye-opener for everyone who attended.  Farming on the north shore of Lake Apopka, pesticide contamination, the lives of the farmworkers who harvested vegetables for generations in Central Florida - stories of the lake and the people came together to reveal what life was like for thousands of African American farmworkers who fed a nation through the hard work of their back-breaking labor.

Fed Up author Slongwhite read passages from her book, while Linda Lee spoke from the heart about her own personal experiences working in the fields in all kinds of weather, all while being exposed to toxic pesticides.   The publication of the book fills a vacuum in Florida history by portraying the lives of a people who have been virtually invisible.  As with the Quilts, the book Fed Up is a validation, as well as a commemoration of the lives, culture, history and contributions of the Lake Apopka farmworkers.

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