Huelga: The 1965
After numerous failed attempts to organize farm workers in the first half of the 1900s, people had lost faith that a successful farm worker could be established. Many told Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers that they were foolish and they would fail just like the others before them. But in 1965 as the Civil Rights Movement was underway in the South and the Free Speech Movement was growing across the
, the climate was ripe for the farm workers to begin a movement of their own.
On September 8, 1965, the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, a Filipino farm worker organization, went on strike in the table grape industry to demand better wages, working conditions, and respect and dignity on the job. The newly formed National Farm Workers Association, founded by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in 1962, joined the strike on September 16, 1965, Mexican Independence Day.
For five long years, they fought relentlessly for their rights. Cesar’s tireless leadership and nonviolent tactics that included the Delano Grape Strike, his numerous fasts, and the 340-mile march from
in 1966 eventually brought national attention to the struggles of farm workers for better pay and safer working conditions.
The Delano Grape Strike resulted in the first industry-wide contracts for farm workers, including better pay, restrooms in the fields, clean drinking water, and an end to the short-handled hoe. For the first time in history, the multi-million and now multi-billion dollar agricultural industry was brought to its knees.
“Huelga: the 1965 Delano Grape Strike” is a photographic exhibit that documents the brave and relentless spirit of the farm workers. It tells the powerful story of struggle, courage, and triumph.
This historic and educational exhibit is now available for rental as a traveling exhibit. If you are interested in hosting this exhibit or have any questions, please contact Bernadette Farinas at 661-823-6134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.