Huerta worked alongside Cesar Chavez to establish the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA). "Although Chavez was the face of the union, Huerta was the union's hands and heart." Fearless and passionate, it is said that she "never backed down." Although her mother divorced when Dolores was three, she kept in touch with her father, who later was elected to New Mexico's House of Representatives. Inspired by Gandhi, Huerta and Chavez agreed that NFWA would use nonviolent confrontation. In 1965, they organized a strike for the rose growers of California. Then they turned to the California grape growers. This strike went on for five years. In 1966, a walk of about 300 miles to Sacramento, the state capitol, was organized. It began with seventy marchers but ended with 10,000 people. This led the U.S. Senate to hold hearings on the plight of the farm worker. After the march NFWA became part of the AFL-CIO. Throughout Huerta's activism, two failed marriages, and eleven children who helped her in her work, Dolores never gave up trying to make the world a better place. Sidebars and photographs with captions add interest. A time line of her life and corresponding world events, capsules of facts, lists of further resources, a glossary, chapter notes, bibliography, and an index are included. This book is part of the "Signature Lives" series of Modern America. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
Dolores Huerta: Labor Leader and Civil Rights Activistby Robin S. Doak
Born on April 10, 1930, Huerta learned to be outspoken at a young age from her mother, who was a businesswoman and an activist. As a young woman, she battled segregation and pushed for better public services through the Community Service Organization, which she co-founded. Huerta soon realized that the needs and rights of farmworkers needed support. She worked with Cesar Chavez, a fellow activist for farmworkers, to organize the farmworkers into a single union. From organizing boycotts to lobbying for the farmworkers’ job conditions, Huerta relentlessly strove to help others.
Meet the Author
Robin S. Doak has been writing for children for more than 19 years. A former editor of Weekly Reader and U*S*Kids magazine, Doak has authored fun and educational materials for kids of all ages. She is a past winner of the Educational Press Association of America Distinguished Achievement Award. She lives with her family in Maine.
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