Tuesday, May 19, 2009

APA Heritage Month: Recognizing Larry Itliong & the AWOC

In honor of APA heritage/history month, I will be doing some posts recognizing the contributions of some lesser-known APA citizens, and today I want to introduce you to Larry Itliong and his connection to a more well known activist, Cesar Chavez.

Itliong was president of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, a mostly Filipino American organization. Through his work with labor organizing and protesting for better working conditions, across racial and ethnic lines, Itliong formed, along with Chavez and Dolores Huerta, the now famous United Farm Workers (UFW).

[Itliong is on the far left and Chavez is on the right]

For more on the history and connection between Itliong and Chavez, please read this article, "Cesar Chavez Day and the Forgotten Asian Americans" by John Delloro. (And special thanks to "D" for the link to the article). I think it's important to remember that Asian Americans have always been part of American history and society, and unlike the divisive "model minority myth," have also always worked alongside activists of various races (like Yuri Kochiyama) for social justice and a mixed race America for everyone.

[REMEMBER: If you post a comment during the month of May (which is APA heritage month) you will be automatically entered to win one of five books donated by Hachette Book Group. Read the May 14 post (scroll to the bottom) to see the details of the books and how to win]

1 comment:

Joo-Ok said...

Thanks for the post, Jennifer!