Labor leader Larry Itliong honored at FANHS Museum exhibit
Even with the ongoing Halloween preparations, it’s still Filipino American History Month—the best time to honor unsung heroes who have made significant contributions to Filipino-American history, like Larry Itliong.
Itliong’s daughter Patty Itliong Serda led the unveiling of the exhibit dedicated to the labor leader at the Filipino American National Historical Society Museum (FANHS) in downtown Stockton, California.
Fellow farm labor activist Dolores Huerta and Paul Chavez, son of another labor activist Cesar Chavez, spoke at the inauguration of the exhibit showcasing Itliong’s impact at Central Valley fields and beyond.
If this wasn’t enough, a park in Milpitas, California was named after the Delano Manongs, a group of Filipino farmer heroes who fought for fair wages and working conditions for Filipino Americans. Led by Itliong, the Manongs also started the Delano Grape Strike of 1965 that went national and international.
Historians and museum officers said he was the bridge that connected Filipino and Mexican farmers together, breaking the barriers that farm owners built around them.
“He was one of the biggest social justice icons for field workers and one of the biggest things that he was able to do is unify,” said Irwin Mina, FANHS board president.
Through his battle for social justice, Itliong became a true inspiration to the Filipino community. “He was someone that basically allowed us, Filipino Americans, the idea that maybe we, we’re the same,” Mina said.
Huerta, at the exhibit opening, shared how Itliong was a man of few words. But when you come to him for help, he’ll say, “I’ll help you.”
Amid the various Filipino-American celebrations in the US, stopping by this exhibit will remind you of the heroism he did for the community. The exhibit will open to the public on Oct. 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.