Growing Up Brown: Memoirs of a Filipino-American


Jamero Shares Insights and Hardships Growing Up Brown

growing_up_brown_book_cover“I may have been like other boys, but there was a major difference–my family included 80 to 100 single young men residing in a Filipino farm-labor camp. . . . As a campo boy, I began to see the two faces of America, a place where Filipinos were at once welcomed and excluded, were considered equal and were discriminated against. It was a place where the values of fairness and freedom often fell short when Filipinos put them to the test.”
     – Peter Jamero

Peter Jamero’s story of hardship and success illuminates the experience of what he calls the “bridge generation”—the American-born children of the Filipinos recruited as farm workers in the 1920s and 30s. Their experiences span the gap between these early immigrants and those Filipinos who owe their U.S. residency to the liberalization of immigration laws in 1965. A sequel of sorts to Carlos Bulosan’s America Is in the Heart, Jamero’s story resonates with themes of heartbreaking struggle against racism and poverty, and eventual triumph.

Jamero recounts his early life in a farm-labor camp in Livingston, California, and the path that took him, through naval service and graduate school, far beyond Livingston. A longtime community activist and civic leader, Jamero describes decades of toil and progress before the Filipino community entered the sociopolitical mainstream. He shares a wealth of reflections from his career as an executive of health and human service programs in Sacramento, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and San Francisco.

Click here for the book flyer (in Adobe PDF for viewing and printing).

Ordering Information

The book may be ordered from the publisher at or or via your local bookstore or online bookstore, including


2006 Jamero, Peter: Growing Up Brown: Memoirs of a Filipino American, University of Washington Press, Seattle
Library of Congress Control #:  2006013057
ISBN:  0-295-98642-5 (paperback:alk. paper)

The Scott and Laurie Oki Series in Asian American Studies
June 2006. 348 pp., 52 illus., index
Foreword by Dorothy Laigo Cordova
Introduction by Peter Bacho
Afterword by Fred Cordova


“Growing Up Brown is intense, honest and meaningful.”  Rick Bonus, University of Washington

“A very good read and hard to put down…heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the same time.”  Mel Orpilla,Vallejo CA


To read what others had to say, click here.

One comment

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed Peter’s blog. Sharing current successful Filipinos is inspiring and impressive. Thank you and please continue the good work.

    N. Ann C. Tuliao, Ed D

    .*My mothet’s father, my maternal grandfather, was a musician, played flute, in one of the USS President Lines in the 1920s, while my father’s father, my paternal grandfather, was a bunk cook in Imperial Valley, Highway 4, west of Stockton, and in Salinas, and many other farms. I am very proud of them.

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