The legacy of Cesar E. Chavez is told in pictures.
Before I even knew the accomplishments of this labor worker turned civil rights leader, I had seen Chavez's face in a black and white photo. To me, his image is as iconic as Che Guevara's.
Makes me wonder, what was the impact of photography (and being so actively photographed) on Chavez's plight in support of worker's rights?
Google "Cesar Chavez" to see him marching and speaking at rallies, carrying farm tools, with Robert Kennedy after breaking his 25-day fast and more. This portrait of Cesar at left is one of my favorites. It shows him in a more relaxed state; probably a rare occurrence for someone who was such an agent for social change.
Along with Dolores Huerta, Chavez helped found the National Farm Workers Association in 1965, which later became the United Farm Workers of America (UFW).
Today, March 31st, is Cesar Chavez Day (also his birthday) - a state holiday officially celebrated in California, Texas, Arizona and Colorado. So when you eat a piece of fruit, cook with vegetables, drink wine, buy flowers... think of Cesar E. Chavez and the farm laborers around the world who helped get those goods to you. Que viva Cesar Estrada Chavez!
PHOTO: Cesar Chavez by photographer Larry Sharkey, published in The Los Angeles Times
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Labels: American Photography, civil rights, Mexican, photography history