Who was she? How come I'd never heard of her? I'm telling you the truth because I am ashamed of my lack of knowledge after all she has done for so many people. One answer to my second question is that she was a woman and the spotlight for justice for farm workers naturally was focused on the man, César Chávez. But that didn't bother her. Her mission in life was to help other poor agricultural workers who picked the fruits and vegetables for the American appetite.
She organized, protested, went to jail, was beaten, yet still kept speaking and negotiating and yes, calling for worker's to strike against the growers. She won many battles and dismissed her losses as part of the process. She became a feminist late in her career after meeting Gloria Steinem and realizing that female farmworkers were not paid equally to men. The image on the cover of Dolores Herta Stands Strong shows her holding up a sign that says "heulga," which means "strike." Another of her slogans is "Si, se peude," "Yes, we can." in English, which Barack Obama borrowed with her permission for his presidential campaign.
Amazingly, she did all this while raising 11 children, sometimes as a single mother. And her kids grew up just fine. Americans need to know what it takes to fulfill the promise of "liberty and justice for all." Dolores Huerta contributed her life to this promise and Marlene Targ Brill does justice to her story.