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

  •   El Malcriado: The Voice of the Farm Worker
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    cover of El Malcriado

    The farm workers’ underground newspaper, El Malcriado, was first printed and distributed in Delano, California (just north of Bakersfield) in 1964. The name of the paper, founded by Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez means, “ill bred or mischievous” or “children who speak back to their parents.” The name had resonance with many farm workers because during the Mexican Revolution, there had been a newspaper with the same name. Originally the paper, printed in Spanish, was read only by farm workers in the Delano area. Soon an English language version appeared and the mailing list for El Malcriado increased greatly.

    Chavez used El Malcriado to criticize the growers for low wages, poor working conditions, and the use of pesticides; all very serious issues to the farm workers. But he had a great sense of humor and he knew that the appeal of the newspaper for many farm workers was its humor and satire, often conveyed by minimal captions underscoring biting political cartoons and illustrations. One of the most celebrated characters in El Malcriado cartoons was Don Sotaco, an everyman farm worker with whom many of the readers readily identified. El Malcriado nourished an emerging style of Chicano artwork that was soulful, heart-felt and understood in any language.

    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