Cape Verdean farmsteads and farming communities along the Southcoast are an important but often overlooked part of the immigration history of New England. This article places these farming communities in historical and regional context. Describing labor activities on industrial farms and the early founding of immigrant-owned farms in Cape Verdean communities, themes explored in the text include labor relations and practices, the socio-economic effect of immigrant farm and land ownership, cultural activities, and how the farms transformed regional immigrant socio-economic relations and labor mobilities. The text provides an introduction to Cape Verdean farming activities in Dartmouth and along the Southcoast and an extended bibliography with readings and oral history resources for those interested in additional information about the topic.
Anthropologist Miguel Moniz (Center for Research in Anthropology, ISCTE--Instituto Universitário de Lisboa) grew up in the Azorean and Cape Verdean farming community of Falmouth on Cape Cod. His research and publications examine Portuguese and Cape Verdean migration to North America. Recent research, public talks, and publications on the theme have focused on the racialization of immigrant labor in New England’s industrial mills and agriculture with a focus on the early 20th century. A social sciences researcher and anthropology professor in Portugal, Moniz has also been a visiting scholar at Brown University (where he received a PhD in Anthropology) including selection as the Brown/FLAD Michael Teague Endowed Visiting Professor of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies in 2019. He was also a Hélio and Amélia Pedroso/Fundação Luso-Americana Endowed Visiting Professor at UMass Dartmouth in 2017. His research and projects have been funded by the Fulbright Foundation, the European Research Council, the Portuguese National Science Foundation (FCT), the Luso-American Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, RI Council for the Humanities, the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. As Executive Director of the 501(C)(3) non-profit Migrant Communities Project he has worked to make the historical narratives and contemporary issues of Cape Verdeans and other immigrants more visible through grant writing and the development of and collaboration on citizen scientist/community scholar initiatives that collect oral histories, artifacts, and generate educational and historical materials.