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  •    The Arts and the Farm Workers' Movement During the 1960s and '70s

  •   Cesar Chavez - The Leader Becomes the Icon


    Portrait of La Causa by Octavio Ocampo

    Cesar Chavez recognized the power of symbols and images. Early on in the movement he consciously helped create the farm workers’ logo, the symbol that rallied so many. He saw the importance of using images and colors that have strong emotional appeal. He chose the Virgin of Guadalupe because of its historic and religious symbolism. Today, the portrait of Chavez himself has become a powerful image associated with the struggle of farm workers and the Chicano movement.

    Cesar Estrada Chavez died in his sleep on April 23, 1993 near Yuma, Arizona; the same place where he was born. Over 50,000 people attended services at the United Farm Workers field office in Delano. He was buried in front of his office at La Paz, the United Farm Workers California headquarters.

    As writer and educator Max Benevides said, “Perhaps it is fitting that Chavez' own visage has already superseded that of Emiliano Zapata, the beloved peasant leader of the Mexican Revolution, as the paramount Chicano icon.”

    Art and Artifacts from the Collections of the Labor Archives and Research Center

    Copyright © 2007 Labor Archives and Research Center | J. Paul Leonard Library | San Francisco State University
    Credits and Contacts | Last Updated January 17, 2006