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César Chávez

American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist

Cesar Chavez (born César Estrada Chávez (March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993) was an American farmworker, labor leader and civil rights activist. Chávez started the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) along with Dolores Huerta. He wanted equal rights for Mexicans working in the United States. This union became the United Farm Workers. He led a boycott against grape companies to gain rights for workers. Chávez used nonviolence to make these changes. Chavez is thought of as one of the leaders in the movement for Chicanos to gain more rights in the late-20th century.

Cesar Chavez
Cesar chavez crop2.jpg
Chavez in 1974
Born
César Estrada Chávez

(1927-03-31)March 31, 1927
Yuma, Arizona, U.S.
DiedApril 23, 1993(1993-04-23) (aged 66)
Occupation
Parent(s)
  • Librado Chávez (father)
  • Juana Estrada Chávez (mother)

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Chávez was born near Yuma, Arizona and went to over 37 schools.[1] He graduated from the eighth grade.[1] He did most of his organizing in California, especially near Bakersfield. Fred Ross taught him to lead unions. Fred Ross was a student of Saul Alinsky.

ActivismEdit

In 1965, Chávez and the NFWA started a strike for grape-pickers in California. At the same time, he asked Americans to boycott grapes from California. In 1970, the migrant workers won their fight for better pay.

He kept working against unfair labor rules. He stopped eating in protest three times because of low pay and bad working conditions. When he died, he was leading another grape boycott to stop the use of pesticides.

LegacyEdit

Chávez is respected in California and other states. In 2000, California's state legislature started a holiday to honor him. The holiday is on March 31, Chávez's birthday. This is the first time that a US public holiday honored a Mexican American or a union leader. Many cities have streets or places named for him. These cities include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Austin, Texas, Chicago, Illinois, Milwaukee, and Salt Lake City. In 1998 he was inducted into the Hall of Honor by the United States Department of Labor.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Carole Marsh, Cesar Chavez : Farm worker with vision (Peachtree City, GA:] Gallopade International, 2002), pp. 1-4
  2. "Hall of Honor Inductee César Chávez". U.S. Department of Labor. 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2012.

Other websitesEdit