A brisk breeze accents the sunlight in Delano, CA this Sunday in March 1966. I am in town
to photograph with striking grape pickers. “With” is the operative word. I am neither a news
nor a documentary photographer. I am an advocate. An organizer with a camera. On this day,
Cesar Chavez is leading some 200 farm workers around a city park — sort of a warm up for
the 3-week pilgrimage to Sacramento which will begin in a few days. With my 3 cameras I
easily weave in and out of the marching ranks of workers. Shooting close up, wide angle
photos. Many of these  workers are already my amigos for I began photographing with
some of them years before — and on the grape strike since the previous September... I
stride out in front of the marchers, then backward in step with them. “Sí se puede. Sí se
puede” ... In a few minutes: “Click.” Universal magic meshes into one collective synchronized
moment — their movement, my movement. Their expressions, my angle. The breeze,
my shutter.  “¡CLICK!”  We — grape pickers, Big Mama’s breeze, my camera and I —
have created La Huelga’s quintessential image of hope & solidarity, which will be
replicated in films, textbooks and posters around the world to this day. 

Return to thumbnails of first 10 hanging banners