Tuesday, March 25, 2014


The story of the United Farm Workers and Cesar Chavez makes its movie debut this weekend (March 28). I strongly encourage you to find a theater and watch it.

The clip below captures an iconic moment between Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Kern County Sheriff Roy F. Galyen. The 1966 exchange between Kennedy and Galyen focused attention on Kern County law enforcement and Sheriff Galyen, who had a habit of arresting the picketing farm workers organized by Cesar Chavez ...

For those of you who need a primer on the film, here's the trailer ...

If you're unfamiliar with the Kern County reference above know that the UFW and Cesar Chavez' labor movement was built in the southern San Joaquin Valley, around the town of Delano which is located in the most northern area of Kern County, California.

Kern County, California outlined in red.

Don't let the proximity of Kern County to Los Angeles fool you. The two regions are separated by a mountain range - the Tehachapi Mountains - that often becomes impassable during the winter.

Heading south from Bakersfield on I-5, approaching the base of the Grapevine in the Tehachapi Mountains. 

Kern County and Los Angeles are distinct worlds. Oil and agriculture dominate Kern County. Republicans control the political scene. Born in the region, and having lived here (in Bakersfield) for almost 20 years, I can tell you that in many ways Kern County is Texas.

Kern County, California

The point of all this is that the people of Kern County have long taken pride in not being Los Angeles, which helps to explain much of the drama you will see in the movie.

- Mark 

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