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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Cesar Chavez Accomplishments (Too many to mention)

Cesar Estrada Chavez accomplishments are one too many to mention. Yes, we know him as a Farm Worker, Cotton Picker turned Civil Rights Activist, Co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association but Cesar to Brown people was worth more than any Political Accomplishment. Cesar was & still is a household name that many Latinos couldn't be more prouder to call him a Mexican. He was born in Yuma, Arizona in 1927 and lived a life attempting to liberate his people.He tried to liberate our people from confinement not from the Agricultural way of life but from the growers who cared more about profiting then the condition of the land or it's people. His movement wasn't just a movement for farm workers. It was a movement for dignity and basic human rights that were being violated under inequality. Amazing what one man can do to Unite.
Cesar Chavez is not to be confused with Julio Cesar Chavez the Boxer. They are 40 years apart and the boxer is still living. When is Cesar Chavez Day? Although not a Federal Holiday, President Barrack Obama in 2008 proclaimed March 31, Cesar E Chavez Holiday.

My greatest Cesar Chavez Quotes:
  • "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people". 
  • "Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures". 
  • "There is no such things as defeat in non-violence. In some cases non-violence requires more militancy than violence". 
  • "It is my deepest belief that only by giving our lives do we find life". 

Cesar Chavez Family 
Cesar was only married once to his wife Helena for over 40 years. They had 8 children together. He had 4 brothers and sisters, 2 brothers, 2 sisters and was really close to his sister in law, Dolores Huerta who is a Civil Rights Activist and continues to this day the fight against struggle for the people. Huerta once suffered broken bones and ribs after protesting Prescott Bush endorsing $1000 plate fundraiser that was being held for Sen. Barry Goldwater Campaign in 1964.

Cesar Chavez marching with a cane to help the pain of walking
Cesar Chavez Bio Chavez, a dark skinned Mexican. "Dark and poor, had to be more Mexican". That's how some spoke of him. "These [farmer] workers are all black and brown workers that want our union. They don't want to be led by white men who don't understand". This is him explaining why the NFWA needed to become established. Cesar believed love generated power and spirit. He was a vegetarian and ate Matzo, a bread traditionally eating by Jews, before and during fast. He wore a mezuzah, A kosher parchment scroll inscribed with Hebrew verses of the Torah. He had Martin Luther King and Gandhi photographs on his walls and followed many of Gandhi traditions. Gandhi was the leader of the Indian Independence movement during The British rule India.

He was also inspired by Gandhi to fast after he read that Gandhi would fast before a battle or march. He visited New England before and went to the fall foliage of Autumns there. He was on the Today's Show boycotting California grapes and the chemicals used on the fruit & the exposure to the farm workers. He believed that the struggle wasn't ones on but all. Cesar was in the Navy in his younger days and served as a pallbearer at Robert's Kennedy funeral. Joe Kennedy, son of Robert Kennedy also served as pallbearer for Cesar Chavez and Jesse Jackson was also there marching behind the coffin that carried Cesar Chavez.

Mexican Students in 1970 walked out of Huelga Delano HS fed up with being treated as Second Class Citizens. One of his daughters was denied the right to graduate because she was picketing her school teachers for Racism against her people. She was standing up against Local business owners who also worked for the school administration calling Mexican kids Beaners.

On 3/10/68 after a 28 day fast he broke his fasting with Senator Robert Kennedy by sharing a piece of bread.

Cesar Chavez and Robert Kennedy
Robert Kennedy and Cesar Chavez

At 61, he went on a 5 day fast and usually did for preparation. He once gave an interview in bed with pajamas on due to him fasting and being weak. He died at 66. He was buried in a pine coffin that was built by his brother Richard. Richard built his brothers coffin in 38 hours.He died resting on his back and was found with a native American book on his lap, April 23, 1993.I read there was a plot to assassinate Chavez, from a grower who offered to pay $2500 to have him killed. He was buried in La Paz, the Place of Peace, next to his dogs.

Gilbert Padilla

Chavez listening to the concerns of the Farm Workers

Chavez: "Jails were made for men who fight for their rights. They can jail us but never the cause". 

Picketing Growers at Farms who were violating their farm workers
Huelga NFWA
The Giumarra Growers won a temporary restraining order banning the pickets from using bullhorns. This company along with The Bud Antle Co. used Dow chemicals that were also used on napalm bombs and being sprayed on farms. He was ordered to ten days in jail for 3 counts of violating the order to Antle Boycott.He declined special treatment in jail and stored items in locker 216

Coretta Scott King, addressed the protesters outside a jail where Chavez was being held, on a flatbed: "You can not keep truth in jail'.

She visited him in jail and Rev. Ralph Abernathy send his wishes. More than 5000 people marched for Nagi Moshin Dai Fullah, a Yemen student of medicine who worked as a farmer and was killed by police. Chavez fasted for 3 days to honor him. I learned that within 2 months Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were both assassinated.Cesar mom died at 99 on 12/14/91.

Chavez: "Gain economic independence without becoming materialistic". Notable Dedications to Chavez: Cesar Chavez Park Cesar Chavez Middle School National Chavez Center

VIVA! Si Se Puede! 

Cesar Chavez Victory

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