This is a guest article by Arline Troncoza, that is working with the education team at the Library of conference as component of the spain Association that Colleges and also Universities (HACU) Internship Program.

You are watching: Cesar chavez primary sources


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Group of children posing under authorize at a farm workers’ community, 1941


In 1962 in Delano, California, Cesar Chavez, along with other job organizers, produced a  farm workers’ union unlike any type of other in the background of the united States. Although plenty of deemed it an impossible task come organize together a union due to the fact that of failed attempts in the past, Chavez developed the joined Farm employees (UFW) union, and its success produced a historical movement the would lug awareness to the farm yard workers’ struggle and help bring social justice come the oppressed.

Hearing around individuals, such together Chavez, who have dedicated their stays to obtain equality and freedom for all may sometimes be difficult for students to comprehend. Studying primary sources  that document the events that inspired such leaders permits students come travel earlier in time to see and better understand.

Before start my research study I knew the the strikes and also protests led through Cesar Chavez began due to the fact that of unlivable wages, horrible living conditions and also dangerous working conditions, but seeing photographs of these conditions carried the historical context come life for me. The photos of the living conditions of migrant farm workers not only provoked a lot of thoughts and also questions, but they also provoked emotions in solution to the injustice that these workers had to endure.


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Migratory Mexican field worker’s home on the leaf of a frozen pea field. Imperial Valley, California, 1937.


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Unsanitary privy in potato pickers’ camp near Shafter, California, 1937


Teachers might ask your students come study and also think around the photo of a field worker’s home:

What do you an alert first?What do you wonder about?What do you do of the little girl peering out?What execute you think she facial expression is saying?What execute you think it was it prefer living in this makeshift homes without to run water, or having actually to endure the scorching heat and cold winter in this conditions?

Many farm yard workers had no access to a toilet on the farm; at times there to be one hygiene serving numerous workers and their families. Making use of this picture you might ask:

What is this structure made of?Who to be this make for?Would this be agree today? Why not?

When student observe, reflect, and ask questions around primary sources, it opens up the door for them to peer into the experience of the individuals who took component in a historical event. The also allows them come practice  an essential thinking skills and generally piques curiosity, motivating them to explore and want to research more.

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Posted in: spain American History, industrial United States, world Wars and also the good Depression (1914-1945)

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