Dolores: Rebel, Activist, Feminist, Mother

“Well, I do believe they call it ‘his story’ – history. And so, you know, that’s, I think, the case of many aspects of the Civil Rights Movement where men were really given most of the attention of the work that was being done, even though we had very many women that were at the forefront of the struggle and at the forefront of the movement.

 “So it’s not just the history of the farm workers’ movement. It’s the history of our United States of America and general history of many, many organizations. And so a women’s place in history has never been given the attention that it needs to be given, and, again, that’s why we have a lot of the misogyny in our society today.”

 -Dolores Huerta

Back in 2014, I told you about the historic premier of the César Chávez movie. Now, I’m pleased to tell you that the story of his United Farm Workers co-founder and civil rights icon, Dolores Huerta, Dolores is hitting the big screen this fall.

Huerta is credited with coming up with the phrase “Sí se puede,” but for many years, not much else—until now. Although she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Huerta did not receive all the credit she deserved for her leadership and activism. Producers have said that this movie is a much-needed rewriting of history.

Huerta’s story is one that you won’t find in history textbooks. Benjamin Bratt, producer of the movie, said,“On some level, the film is a correction of the historical record, as it’s been recorded thus far. Dolores’ story, other women and their impact on our culture, on who we are as a people, it’s been excised, purposefully.”

I’m excited to see this movie because Huerta, who paved the way for many of us, is finally starting to gain recognition she deserves.  This is the story of a woman who shattered conventional gender roles and led a movement that empowered many who came after her. Huerta, whose name was once banned from various public schools’ curricula after she stated, “Republicans hate Latinos,” in a speech, is finally being recognized for civil and labor rights activism.

Through Huerta’s work with the UFW, she helped bring the issues that farm workers faced to the national stage. She led the national boycott of grapes, which ultimately led the California table grape industry to sign a collective bargaining agreement that protected the workers from unhealthy work conditions and provided them with better pay and benefits.

The untold story of Dolores Huerta will be exclusively shown at the IFC Center in New York City on September 1, with showings in other cities soon to follow. Check here for show times near you. 

Let’s support this movie. Invite your neighbors and tell your friends so that Dolores Huerta’s story will become as well-known as those of other warriors for justice. When we think of civil and labor rights champions, her name should be—and will be—among the greats.

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