"I Ain't Got No Home in this World"
In the 1930s California newspaper reporter Ben Riddick coined the term "Okie" after he observed that many migrants came in jalopies with Oklahoma license plates. Despite his observation, the truth was that the "Okie" migration was made up of people from states throughout the Midwest. In search of a better life, more than 250,000 people fled from Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado, as well as Oklahoma. Upon arriving in California and Arizona, these migrants were discriminated against and marginalized. Instead of steady jobs they often found deplorable living conditions, unfair labor practices by large farming conglomerates, and police harassment. Their journey and hardships gave Woody Guthrie a cause to champion, and in turn he gave a voice to the quarter-million people who traveled the same road he did.