Carlos Bulosan’s “America is in the Heart”


United States

Discrimination & Inequity Media & Culture

America Is in the Heart is a semi-autobiographical novel by Carlos Bulosan, Filipino American writer, poet, and activist that deals with the intersection of migration and labor rights.

The novel, widely circulated at the time of its publication, chronicles Bulosan’s early years in the Philippines, his experience of migrating to the United States in 1930, and his subsequent experiences as a migrant laborer during the Great Depression. Economic hardships stemming from U.S. colonial policy in the Philippines compelled Bulosan to emigrate. However, once in the U.S., he faced routine racial and economic injustices that compelled him to become a labor activist and journalist. He was among those blacklisted for labor activism at the height of the anticommunist crusade of the 1950s. America Is in the Heart as well as Bulosan’s other writings largely influenced the Filipino-American movement of the 1960s and 1970s.