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Photo Essay: California Farmworker – LeRoy


(l to r) Maria Robles; George Catalan; Jessica Govea; LeRoy Chatfield; Maria Rifo)


Letter From The Publisher

Introduction To Photo Essay ∼ “The Plight of California Farmworkers In The 1960s”

I worked with Cesar Chavez and his farmworker movement from 1963 to 1973 and  witnessed first hand the plight of California farmworkers – their  migrant status seeking work, their abysmal living and working conditions, their abject poverty, their lack of educational opportunities for their children, but above all  their government-sanctioned apartheid status as  workers who had been deprived of  any labor rights  afforded to more than 80,000,000 million other workers in the United States.

I also witnessed and participated in the 1965 – 1970 Delano Grape Strike, which sought to organize these powerless workers into a labor union of their own creation – United Farm Workers of America. Without doubt, this farmworker emancipation movement was one of the most important and historical social movements in the United States in the 20th Century.

The purpose of this photo essay is to visually document the plight of farmworkers in California in the 1960s prior to  their emancipation movement.

LeRoy Chatfield ∼  Publisher





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