revisionphotos:

My photo was published on Asian Journal! More importantly, this is a reminder of why it’s important for us to organize within our own communities and create change for ourselves.

revisionphotos:

My photo was published on Asian Journal! More importantly, this is a reminder of why it’s important for us to organize within our own communities and create change for ourselves.

Trailer for "The Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the UFW" from Karen Everett on Vimeo.

[I actually wrote this last year, but thought I’d repost it again]

I always have very mixed feelings on Cesar Chavez Day, but they’re not rooted in anger towards another group (the Mexican farmworkers). Instead, these feelings of frustration, anger, and disappointment come from a yearning for one group’s rightful place in history. It’s not about taking away from the Mexican struggle, it’s about spreading awareness of Filipinos and their role in the labor movement as well.

In addition to this video, there’s also a good article that summarizes this historical amnesia. If you want to dig even deeper, then you should check out one of my all time favorite books, Philip Vera Cruz: A Personal History of Filipino Immigrants and the Farmworkers Movement. Although it’s an autobiography that speaks from a Filipino perspective, I feel that it’s an honest look at what really went down during the formation of the UFW. Vera Cruz was objective in his observations and didn’t use this book as an opportunity to discredit the achievements of the Mexican laborers. No one was exempt from criticism (as it should be), including himself and other Filipinos.

Cesar Chavez did a lot of things to advance the workers’ struggle, but let it be known that he initially didn’t want any part of the Delano Grape Strike of 1965, which was a major catalyst in the formation of the UFW. Chavez only decided to join in after seeing the strength and resiliency of the Filipino workers, who had already been struggling and resisting for decades prior.

October is Filipino-American History Month.

Growing up, older Filipinos would sometimes tell me about the contributions our people made to the Farmworkers/Labor Movement but I never believed them. As a product of the American school system, my indoctrination conditioned me to believe that the history books were 100% truthful. I figured that since I never read anything about the role of Filipinos in that movement, then my elders must’ve just been trying to hype up our culture and our people. Even when I got to college, it was the same thing in my U.S. History class (I never even learned about the contributions of Black and Brown people until I started taking different Ethnic Studies classes in my later years).

We might’ve been erased from the history books, but it doesn’t change our history.

The movement must go beyond its leaders. — Philip Vera Cruz

Trailer for "The Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the UFW" from Karen Everett on Vimeo.

I always have very mixed feelings on Cesar Chavez Day, but they’re not rooted in anger towards another group (the Mexican farmworkers). Instead, these feelings of frustration, anger and disappointment come from a yearning for one group’s rightful place in history. It’s not about taking away from the Mexican struggle, it’s about spreading awareness about Filipinos and their role in the labor movement.

In addition to this video, there’s also a good article that summarizes this historical amnesia. If you want to dig even deeper, then you should check out one of my all time favorite books, Philip Vera Cruz: A Personal History of Filipino Immigrants and the Farmworkers Movement. Although it’s an autobiography that speaks from a Filipino perspective, I feel that it’s an honest look at what really went down during the formation of the UFW. Vera Cruz was objective in his observations and didn’t just use this book as an opportunity to bash on the Mexican laborers. No one was exempt from criticism (as it should be), including himself and other Filipinos.

Cesar Chavez did a lot of things to advance the workers’ struggle, but let it be known that he initially didn’t want any part of the Delano Grape Strike of 1965, which was a major catalyst in the formation of the UFW. Chavez only decided to join in after seeing the strength and resiliency of the Filipino workers, who had already been struggling and resisting for decades prior.