How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

The forgotten history of the Filipino laborers who worked with Cesar Chavez

Photo by TK/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A mural commemorating the late labor leader Philip Vera Cruz, who worked alongside Cesar Chavez, May 2010

For those closely related to the farm labor movement of the 1960s and 70s, the story of Asian American farm workers and the extent to which these workers were involved in the movement is fairly common knowledge. But for many others familiar with the legacy of labor and civil rights leader César Chávez, whose birthday was celebrated yesterday as a state holiday, the story of the Filipino laborers who worked side by side with him is a piece of near-forgotten history.

The Filipino American culture website BakitWhy.com featured a film trailer yesterday for a documentary titled "The Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the UFW" that tells the story of United Farm Workers of America leaders Larry Itliong, Phillip Vera Cruz, Pete Velasco, and Andy Imutan, all of whom were instrumental to the farm labor movement.

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