Library Corner: Celebrate Cesar Chavez Day with databases
Grand County Library District associate
Did you know that March 31st is Cesar Chavez Day? I didn’t. In fact, until I got ready to write this article, I knew embarrassingly little about Cesar Chavez or why we celebrate him each year.
Lucky for me, Grand County Library District has recently subscribed to EBSCO Databases, greatly expanding our bank of free online learning tools. EBSCO provides research databases with access to a wide variety of reliable articles and information.
My first stop in my quest to learn more about Cesar Chavez was EBSCO’s History Reference Center. A simple search of “Cesar Chavez” brought back dozens of full-text articles and book excerpts.
In addition to extensive biographical information, I learned that Chavez is recognized for his advocacy for Mexican-American workers. He was responsible for the creation of the American Farm Workers Movement, tackling the economic, social and racial injustices suffered by migrant workers. His heroic efforts led to competitive pay, safer working conditions and greatly improved lives for countless workers and their families.
EBSCO’s Ethnic Diversity Source returns hundreds more articles about Chavez and his legacy among Hispanics, as well as more information about how Cesar Chavez Day became a national holiday in 2014. The date of March 31 was selected to honor Chavez’s birthday, March 31, 1927.
The Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection leads me to a review of “Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez” by Kathleen Krull, a children’s book on the life and work of Chavez. A quick search of the library district’s online catalog reveals a copy in the Granby Library’s foreign language collection, a perfect way for young Spanish-speakers to learn about Chavez in their native tongue. It’s also available in English as a downloadable resource in Hoopla, the libraries’ cloud-based digital library.
Speaking of Spanish, should you be interested in learning to speak it, or any other language, the EBSCO Database gives you free access to Rosetta Stone.
And finally, a visit to the Poetry & Short Story Reference Center leads me to a poem by A.D. Winans, written in honor of Cesar Chavez and the immigrants he championed. I will leave you with this fitting tribute to a true American hero.
“Poem For The Immigrants on the Corner of Cesar Chavez in San Francisco,” by A.D. Winans.
you see them standing on the corner
day in and day out
in boiling sun or bitter cold
waiting for a car to stop
a driver to offer them work
at below minimum pay
in the fields or sweat shops
no questions asked
no quarter given
men and women who risk drowning
to cross the border
they wear a cross to ward off evil
pick your food bus your tables
skin cracked from the sun
ignore the eyes that follow them
the long arm of the law
the cruel words from ignorant tongues
these men with skin dark as dirt
with a wife and children
with needs like you and me
never lose their dignity
never lose their faith
never lose the hope of becoming
part of the American dream
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