Watch: The Life and Labor of Cesar Chavez

By Sandy Southivilay

Brothers and sisters throughout America are celebrating Cesar Chavez Day to commemorate a true leader in the historic struggles of the labor movement.

Cesar Chavez knew all too well the hardships farmers faced as he had grown up toiling in the fields as a migrant farmer along with his family. The struggles he had faced as a young man inspired him to devote his life to helping those in the fields. Cesar Chavez was a union leader, labor organizer and civil rights activist who dedicated his life to improving the wellbeing of farmers. His boycotts, nonviolent protests and strikes against grape growers gained momentum in the 1950s and has since strengthened the labor movement and changed the working conditions of farmers in America.

Cesar Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962, which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW). His dedication to helping improve the lives of farmers earned him many loyal friends and supporters, among them were Dolores Huerta, Robert Kennedy and Jesse Jackson. With the help of his union, labor leaders, and prominent civil rights activists, Cesar Chavez successfully raised awareness on the conditions of farmers. He was able to raise wages and improve working conditions in many states, including Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas.

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