In the summer of 1965, Filipino farmworkers in Delano, fighting for better working conditions, were denied a pay raise by local grape growers. Labor leader Larry Itliong organized a walkout, and two weeks later convinced Cesar Chavez and Mexican farmworkers to join them. The strike would last five years and lead to the launch of the United Farm Workers union.
San Francisco State University professor and CFA member Dawn Bohulano Mabulon was writing a biography of Itliong when she died unexpectedly in August. Her work addressing the dearth of Filipino-Americans’ contributions to U.S. history and culture in media and literature continues, including a new children’s book on Itliong that she co-wrote with Gayle Romasanta.
The book is the first in a series on Filipino-American history that the authors hoped to produce. It coincides with enactment of AB 123 in 2015, which requires that students in grades 7-12 learn about the Filipino-Americans’ role in California’s labor movement. Order Journey for Justice: The Life of Larry Itliong at bridgedelta.com.