Since César Chávez Day is not yet a nationally recognized holiday (I think it's only official in Colorado, Texas and California) I figured I might do a quick post about it for folks who might not know who he was.
César Chávez was an American farm worker, labor organizer and civil rights activist who championed the cause of the migrant farm workers. He co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the National Farm Workers Union. Even though the union has faltered in the years since his death in 1993 (and honestly, what unions haven't been struggling in today's political climate) Chávez is widely credited for bringing the plight of the farm workers into the public eye.
The plight, of course, continues. I recently saw an excellent documentary on Netflix called Food Chains which is an eye opening look at the exploitation and suffering that puts food on the tables of most Americans. Here's the trailer:
I don't have all the answers here, and I'm not really sure what individuals can do to bring about the change that's needed, but I do think this is all another excellent reason to support local small scale food production where workers are treated fairly. And if nothing else, I think it's important to remember and recognize that all of the beautiful fresh produce that is so readily available in our grocery stores was brought to us by people whom society has largely forgotten.
Anyhow, here's a song by Tish Hinojosa, one of my very favorite artists, that takes a look at the issue from a more personal point of view.
Happy César Chávez Day, Y'all!