Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta Turns 89
Unflinching. Uncompromising. Undeterred.
Dolores Clara Fernández Huerta’s legacy of resilience in the fight for civil rights is a masterpiece. Today, marks her 89th birthday, and we pause to honor a leader without whom the United Farm Workers could never have succeeded in altering the course of the conversation over “equality for all” in this country. Their work broke down barriers and challenged the status quo.
On this special day, we would like to encourage everyone to check out the Carlos Santana produced 2017 film, “Dolores“, available via Youtube or Amazon Prime. The Peter Bratt (yes, Benjamin’s brother) directed documentary takes a close look at the labor leader’s life, the impact of her work, and the painful sacrifices she made in order to achieve change. The film brings the understanding of her influence in the political landscape to the forefront; out from behind the shadow of César E. Chávez.
The arc of her story, takes her love of jazz music, and fuses it with the narrative of the struggle for equal rights, delivering the song of Dolores’s life in the vibrant and dynamic way she has lived it: with gusto. From being the originator of the powerful phrase Si Se Puede / Yes, We Can, which candidate Barack Obama would one day use while on the campaign trail, to her willingness to find intersectionality with other marginalized groups in order to build powerful coalitions, hers is a captivating story.
Most importantly, the film is a portrayal of a woman who grows over time to understand her place within feminism, and challenging traditional cultural norms for Latina women, by letting the viewer hear not just from Dolores herself, but the children who experienced her activism and motherhood through a very unique lens.
Like the film poster states, she is a: rebel, activist, feminist, and mother. Even at 89, she is someone, that we can all continue to aspire to be like.
Feliz cumple, Dolores!