Listen to Cesar Chavez – moving words by a movement hero

Want to HEAR Cesar Chavez? Click here.

This is a speech at UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza rally recorded live May 1968, from the H.K. Yuen archive I worked with for two years. “Why are the workers and why are the poor in the rural areas so committed to Kennedy? [When] we were taking a beating… we called on people in Washington…asking them to come to Delano. Senator Kennedy was one of those that came. And he held a meeting of the Subcommittee on Migratory Labor… a very effective thing.”

The archive is a fantastic, underdeveloped resource currently laying dormant at the Ethnic Studies Library.  [LMC]

Frank Bardacke to speak Nov. 6 on “Trampling Out the Vintage”: his new book on Cesar Chavez and the UFW

Frank Bardacke will discuss his recently published book from Verso Press, Trampling Out the Vintage: Cesar Chavez and the Two Souls of the United Farm Workers, at a celebration of its publication. The event will take place Sunday, Nov. 6, 3:00 P.M., at Heyday Books, 1633 University Ave, Berkeley.

From the invitation:

“Trampling out the Vintage” is a narrative history of the UFW, study of the work and world of California farm workers, and reappraisal of the conflicts that shaped the union’s trajectory. Here’s what initial reviews have said about it:

“Frank Bardacke’s long-awaited masterpiece is the kind of book that comes along only once in a generation. Not only is the research spectacular and his analysis of the United Farm Workers as a social movement nuanced and compelling, but he finally places rank-and-file farm workers at the center of the story as savvy and opinionated activists. Best of all, he’s a superb writer who’s constructed a gripping tale.”  –Dana Frank, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Cruz

“It is the human beings that come alive here—union officials, organizers, and workers—with their foibles, rivalries and triumphs. Cesar Chavez emerges as a hugely complex individual with a full range of all-too-human traits. An extraordinary book about an extraordinary movement and man, and a story as inspiring as it is tragic.” –Douglas Monroy, author of The Borders within: Encounters Between Mexico and the US.

“There is so much marvelous stuff in Frank Bardacke’s book that’s simply not been done before. At the book’s core are the men and women who pick the crops in California’s fields and orchards., their skill and endurance,  the world they built among themselves, and the ways they shaped the history of the UFW. It is their story—refreshingly, sympathetically, and beautifully told—that makes this book stand apart and will make it stand forever.” –Alexander Cockburn, CounterPunch

“Beyond the Fields: Cesar Chavez, the UFW, and the Struggle for Justice in the 21st Century”; at the Berkeley YWCA Jan. 22

The UC Berkeley Labor Center, Institute for the Study of Social Change, Institute of Governmental Studies, and Chicano Studies are sponsoring an evening with Randy Shaw, author of the new book Beyond the Fields: Cesar Chavez, the UFW, and the Struggle for Justice in the 21st Century. In Beyond the Fields, Shaw reveals the untold story of how the spirit of “Si Se Puede” that began with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers in the 1960s still sets the course for today’s social justice movements. Shaw finds that the influence of Chavez and the UFW has ranged far and wide: in labor campaigns like Justice for Janitors, in the building of Latino political power, in the fight for environmental justice, in the growing national movement for immigrant rights, and even in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. In fact, many of the ideas, tactics and strategies that Chavez and the UFW so skillfully employed, like grassroots organizing and the cultivation of young activist talent, were integrated into the Obama campaign and overseen by former UFW disciples like Marshall Ganz.

Thurs., Jan. 22, 2009, 6:30 p.m.

YWCA Berkeley
2600 Bancroft Way
Berkeley (2 blocks from the Labor Center)

For more information contact Andrea Buffa,, 510-642-6371.