Cesar Chavez

1534 words 7 pages
One of the greatest civil rights activists of our time; one who believed the ways of Gandhi and Martin Luther King that “violence can only hurt us and our cause” (Cesar Chavez); a quiet, devoted, small catholic man who had nothing just like those he help fight for; “one of America's most influential labor leaders of the late twentieth century” (Griswold del Castillo); and one “who became the most important Mexican-American leader in the history of the United States” (Ender). Cesar Chavez; an American farm worker, who would soon become the labor leader that led to numerous improvements for union workers; it is recorded that Chavez was born near Yuma, Arizona on March 31, 1927 and died on April 23, 1993 in San Luis, Arizona. (Wikipedia) His …show more content…

And in 1966, the UFWOC, which was the United Farm Workers Organization Committee when the NFWA merged with an organization of Filipino workers, launched a campaign picketing grape growers in Delano who paid low wages. La Huelga (The Strike), which the campaign nationally became known as, proved to be the defining moment in Chavez's work as a labor activist. America's consciousness about the conditions of migrant workers was raised when the five-year strike against grape growers in the San Joaquin, Imperial, and Coachella valleys went public throughout the country and world. Chavez was then transformed into a national symbol of civil disobedience. Chavez’s boycott cost California grape growers millions of dollars. He did this by holding hunger strikes, marches, and sit-ins; he also had himself arrested in order to gain attention to his cause. In 1970, the growers agreed to grant rights to migrant workers and raised their minimum wage. (Russell) He ended the fast by "breaking bread" with, then at the time, the candidate for the United States presidency, Senator Robert Kennedy. (DISCovering World) “Chavez became the first man ever to organize a viable farm workers' union in California that obtained signed contracts from the agricultural industry”. (Jusko) Russell argues that Cesar Chavez also fought for the civil rights of African Americans, women, gays, and lesbians, but La Huelga was the first of many successful boycotts that Chavez


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