Today we are continuing our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month with an issue of the journal Tejidos that is dedicated to an important moment in Texas Chicano history: the Texas Farm Worker’s March to Washington for Human Rights in 1977.
Tejidos is one of the many Chicano Movement publications to come out in the 1960s and 1970s. Published out of Austin, Texas, this quarterly publication marketed itself as “A bilingual journal for the stimulation of Chicano creativity and criticism.” It encouraged submissions of poetry, short fiction, interviews, plays, essays, and literary criticism on Chicano writers. It was compiled by university students in Austin Texas, and contains several pieces that reflect the struggle of being a Mexican-American student in a largely white institution, such as the essay by Rene Abelardo Gonzalez below.
The March To Washington
Washington University Libraries’ own a single issue of Tejidos dedicated to the Texas Farm Worker’s March to Washington for Human Rights. On June 18, 1977 about 30 Mexican migrants, most of whom worked on large farms in the Rio Grande Valley, left Austin in an 80-day long, 1600 mile march to Washington DC, walking an average of 20 miles a day. When they arrived there, they and their supporters gathered at the steps to the Lincoln memorial and met with members of Congress to call for legislation to improve conditions for migrant workers, including paying at least minimum wage, and granting them the right to organize. The march was organized by the Texas Farm Workers Union, which had been founded two years before by Antonio Orendain, a former organizer for the famous United Farm Workers led by Cesar Chavez.
The cover of this issue of Tejidos (pictured at the top of the page) features “Hasta La Gloria,” a work by artist Luis Guerra, who spent several days marching with the workers. According to Guerra’s artist page, he created 250-300 silkscreen copies of this image, which he delivered to the farm workers as they arrived in Washington. Sales of these prints helped raise over $8000 for the workers. Guerro also published a narrative of the farm workers’ journey in a 1978 edition of Tejidos.
Guerra, Luis. “Luis Guerra,” Latina/o Art Community. http://latinoartcommunity.org/community/ChicArt/ArtistDir/LuiGue.html
“Texas Farm Workers End March With Rally.” New York Times, Sept. 6, 1977, p. 47.