~ Riverside, CaliforniaCalifornia ~
In the heart of the Riverside Downtown/Street Mall is a statue/monument dedicated the the Human Rights advocate Cesar Chavez who was one of California’s notable farm workers, labor leaders, and civil rights activists. It is located near University Avenue next to statues of Martin Luther King Junior, Mohandas Gandhi, Ahn Chang-Ho, Ysmael Villegas, and citrus pioneer and activist Eliza Tibbets.
Cesar Estrada Chavez, born March 31, 1926 in Yuma, Arizona with five other siblings became a migrant farm working family in 1937 after his family lost their farm in the Great Depression. He left school during the 8th grade to work full time in the fields spending his youth and adulthood travelling along the southwest working in vineyards and farms learning first hand the trials and injustices of migrant farm worker’s life. He attended over three dozen elementary and middle schools through his life. Even though he had to give up his education to work, he continued reading and studying philosophy through economics believing that “the end of all education should surely be service to others”. They settled in San Jose California in 1939 living in a barrio called Sal Si Puedes. He joined the U.S. Navy when he turned 17 in 1944 for 2 years during the reverberation of World War II. Upon his return from service he married Helen Fabela while working the vineyards. He became a community advocate in 1952 and organized the Community Service Organization civil rights group organizing voter registration drives, speeches to support worker’s rights, and campaigns against racial and economic discrimination and became the national director in the early 1960’s. He resigned in 1962 to establish the National Farm Workers Association with Dolores Huerta creating the United Farm Workers (UFW). He spent the next three decades leading the first successful farm worker’s union in American history. This led him to become a true American Hero who eventually died in his sleep on April 23, 1993 near Yuma, Arizona close to his early family farm.
Rated: 4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~
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