César Chávez March is the subject of a new graphic novel

Iconic Mexican American civil rights activist César Chávez is the subject of a new graphic novel for children highlighting his work on behalf of migrant farm workers. Written by award-winning Chicano comic book author Terry Blas and illustrated by acclaimed cartoonist Mar Julia, Who was the voice of the people? : Cesar Chávez, is part of the “A Who HQ” book series. It tells the story of the historic 340-mile protest march that Chávez led from Delano, California to Sacramento, California in 1966 alongside Dolores Huerta during the Delano grape strike fighting farmworker exploitation. Blas received the draft and was asked to select a specific period in César Chávez’s life to focus the story on and chose that moment because of its significance.

“Latinos in the United States number nearly 50 million and 30 million of them are Mexican. We are here, we are strong and if I can do anything to help represent our people in a more positive way, then that’s what I’m going to do and I think that’s what Cesar Chavez did. said Blas. HipLatina. “He wanted to send the message that if Latinos are treated unfairly in their jobs, it sends the message that we can be treated unfairly in every other aspect of our lives,” he said.

The 25-day march was organized by Chávez and agricultural workers’ organizations, with the intention of peacefully protesting the unfair treatment of agricultural workers. The march led to the formation of the United Farm Workers union after the participating organizations united, the National Association of Farm Workers and the Farm Workers Organizing Committee.

“Cesar Chavez’s story is important to me because it tells me that if you want something done, often enough you have to do it yourself, and the idea that having that attitude can inspire others to action,” Blas told Us, revealing that this is the first time he’s written about a real person.

The book explains the history of the march and offers information about the famous labor leader and civil rights activist, who devoted almost his entire life to a cause, including negotiating contracts with their employers. The book is written in an engaging and appropriate way for young readers to digest.

“I think a younger generation, which the book is aimed at, often feels like the world around them and what happens in it is out of their control,” he explained. “I think Cesar Chavez felt that sometimes too. But he didn’t sit down with an attitude of defeat and say, ‘Well, what am I supposed to do?’ I like its spirit of “taking charge”.

He adds that the book tries to demystify the prejudices of negative stereotypes in his books, which also include the titles Hotel Dare and Lifetime pass as well as the Marvel book, reptile. Being of Mexican origin, this project was also for him a personal pride and a way to present our community in a positive light. “I live in a country where, quite often, Latinos are not spoken of in a positive light and are portrayed in a negative or stereotypical way.”

Who was the voice of the people? : Cesar Chávez, is aimed at readers ages 8-12 or grades 3-7 and is available in both print and e-book form.

Irene B. Bowles