America’s Most Productive Agricultural Region Is Also One of Its Most Diverse

Since the 19th Century, California’s San Joaquin Valley Has Drawn Farmers From Around the World

California’s San Joaquin Valley is often dismissed as small and rural. To the contrary, it’s a massive area of farms, ranches, small towns, and growing cities, emblematic of the American West as a blend of Old West values and New West technology. It’s also historically distinctive as one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the United States.

Most Americans know little, and think less, about this complicated and neglected region. Novelist Manuel Muñoz describes the valley, where he was born and grew up, as “a strangely unexplored area of our …

Making Mom a Movie Star

Creating a Documentary About My Mother’s Work in the Fields Helped Me See Her in a New Light

On a typical morning, my mother, Camelia Maribel Sanchez, drives 15 minutes from our house in Coachella, a small city in the Southern California desert, to the bell pepper fields …

Cesar Chavez Was a Whole Lot More Interesting Than ‘Cesar Chavez’

Biopics Always Play Fast and Loose with the Facts, But This One Doesn’t Even Capture Its Subject’s Humanity

Most great men have one. Malcolm X has one. Gandhi has one. Mandela got one last year. And now, Cesar Chavez has his.

The biographical film or “biopic”—like Cesar Chavez, which …

Driving Cesar Chavez

The Unforgettable Day I Took the Union Leader Through Pennsylvania Coal Country

Of all the stories I’ve held on to from my time working for Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers, the one I like to tell is not from the fields of …