“Social justice… you see… the oppressors always underestimate the oppressed and the oppressed almost always overestimate the oppressor.”
~ Cesar Chavez (1927 – 1993)
From the first days of slavery to our own modern era, agribusiness by whatever name — mechanized or otherwise — has profited from the suppression of the labor force it has sought to marginalize. It is, indeed, the grapes of wrath which have historically been the primary harvest of those who toil in the fields to bring food to American tables.
When Cesar Chavez, himself a migrant laborer, rose to suggest publicly the notion of empowerment for these workers, small wonder a wave of cold fear and anger swept through the growers and politicians for whom the status quo represented wealth and power.
This week, on From the Vault we present a 1992 talk Cesar Chavez gave at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University recorded by Radio Free Maine. Here, Chavez relates a story of courage and commitment – the role of boycotts in attaining greater social justice in American society – in a recording entitled Reflections of Social Justice.
Pacifica Affiliate Programmers can find this program available for broadcast download at www.audioport.org. Password required.
Archival recordings used in this program, Remembering Cesar Chavez:
SZ0762 Cesar Chavez: Reflections of Social Justice MORE INFO
BC1785 The Grape Strike in Coachella MORE INFO
PZ0214.01 The Delano Crusade / Cesar Chavez MORE INFO
BB2423 Delano Now / Delores C. Huerta MORE INFO
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