Author Karen Foresti Hempson is set to discuss her new book Bean Pickers: American Immigrant Portraits, which shares eight true-life portrayals that focus on the Italian-Americans who begin their American lives as summer bean pickers, on Wednesday, June 5th at 5:30 pm, at the Oneida County History Center, 1608 Genesee Street, Utica.
Compelling personal stories of the 20th century immigration wave, the Great Depression, Prohibition, and the Second World War are brought to life as each character demonstrates their determination to seek a better life. A chapter on the Utica’s refugee center, along with Mayor Rob Palmieri’s support of newcomers in the 21st century, serves as reminders of the critical roles that immigrants play in building a strong and welcoming nation.
Karen Foresti Hempson earned finalist status for her book in the 2017 international William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition, and Honorable Mention in the Vinnie Reams Writing Competition. Karen compiled her immigrant family’s authentic artifacts and personal narratives to compose her first creative nonfiction book. A native of Utica’s suburb, New Hartford, Karen taught for forty years in Cortland, and is now retired in Skaneateles, NY. She lives with her husband and her nearby family of two married daughters and grandchildren.
For more information, contact the Oneida County History Center, at (315) 735-3642 or visit their website.
Photo of 3 male bean pickers courtesy S. Stevan.