We call them "migrants," scarcely hinting that they are Americans.
One hundred thousand! Two hundred thousand! Three hundred thousand! The ill-clad and ill-fed migrants poured into California in broken down jalopies.
Californians looked scornfully on this procession of human misery, "Migrants" was not the word to express contempt, and, and so Californians originated the word "Okie"
The article goes on to discuss John Steinbeck's relationship with the migrants, the camps, the "Grapes of Wrath", etc.
Please see attached article below. My family experienced all of the "Okie" wrath. They hung in there and rose above it. They were still impoverished and lived simple lives, but their lives were better than the one they had before.