Legacy of Cesar Chavez
Legacy of Cesar Chavez
Emigdio Vasquez, 1997
Designed by artist and muralist, Emigdio Vasquez, The Legacy of Cesar Chavez mural was produced exclusively for Santa Ana College. The mural is a continuation of Vasquez's many works that depict the urban experience of the working class Chicanos. Through this art and others, Vasquez aims to convey a powerful sense of the human struggle for dignity within the Hispanic experience of 20th and 21st century America. This mural being his favorite.
"As a tribute to Cesar Chavez, I wanted to paint a heroic and poignant mural that would celebrate his life. I have depicted Cesar Chavez surrounded by some of his compatriots in the farm workers movement, like Dolores Huerta, Luis Valdez, and Fred Ross. Just as important, however, I decided to include anonymous images of people from the working class, the people loved by Cesar Chavez. He adhered to the ideal that working people are not beasts of burden, but are human beings deserving of respect, dignity, and social justice."
"Cesar Chavez dedicated his life to this ideal, he engaged in a ferocious struggle to improve the lives of the campesinos who toil in the fields. His struggles and accomplishments leave an important legacy that will forever be recorded in the annals of American Labor History. Cesar Chavez will be honored in history by his inclusion in that pantheon of heroes and martyrs of the American working class."
Emigdo Vasquez Vasquez referred to the book "Huelga: The First Hundred Days of the Great Delano Grape Strike" by Euguene Nelsom. The book was filled with beautiful pictures and photographs helping Vasquez capture the great detail and accuracy within his mural, Higgy Vasquez said about his father.
"As his personal style was detailed and colorful, he would continually improve images by adding more detail and contrasts. He loved bright colots and would assign a color to black and white images," Higgy said.
In September 1965, the National Farm Workers Association (Chavez formed this farmworkers unios in 1962) worked alongside the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (a Filipino American labor group). There Cesear Chavez and Dolores Huetta called the strike against grape growers. The year after, Chavez led the march from Delano to Sacramento to spread awareness of La Causa. In 1967, Chavez also called for a nationwide boycott of California grapes that drew widespread attenetion and support.
In 1966, the National Farm Workers Association and Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee merged into what is know today as the United Farm Workers of America.