This film series, directed by Doug Kaback, is a dramatization of selected segments of several oral histories of participants of the Farmworker Movement. It uses photographs by Emmon Clarke and John Kouns as a background to the actors's monologues, providing visual context to the stories. Watch the full series: CSUN Farmworker Oral History Dramatization.
Acclaimed Chicano playwright and filmmaker Luis Valdez came to CSUN last March 15 to discuss, with Theatre professor Jorge Huerta, Valdez’s career and his new book, Theatre of the Sphere: The Vibrant Being. The event was moderated by Carmen Ramos Chandler. Students, professors, members of the community, and friends and family of the Bradley Center had an opportunity to talk to Luis Valdez, whose energy was felt among the 400 people who attended the event. Thanks for coming and you can watch a video with highlights from the event here. You can watch more videos of the Farmworker Movement Collection, documenting the experiences of participants of the Farmworker Movement, by going to our YouTube channel's Farmworker Movement Collection playlist.
In addition are the collections of Edward Alfano; David Blumenkrantz, documenting various regions of Africa; Herb Carleton, covering the San Fernando Valley; Emmon Clarke, containing extensive documentation of the United Farmworkers organization and César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, Gibert Padilla, Luis Valdez and other leaders of the union and its members; and Richard Cross, that documents the wars in El Salvador and Honduras, the Afro-Columbian community Palenque de San Basilio (near Cartagena), Cuba, the Masai and the Maya refugee camps in Mexico.
The Bradley Center has a Border Studies Collection that examines the issues surrounding the border between the United States and Mexico. Through photographic collections, oral histories, manuscripts, videos, newspaper archives and guest lectures issues such as immigration, human rights, globalization, and economic violence are examined.
The farmworker movement of the 1960s and 1970s forged a broad coalition of workers, students, activists, and religious allies that won most of its early battles leveraging its diversity and pushing the country towards a more perfect union. The movement accomplished this not only by extending collective bargaining rights to farmworkers but also by creating "a social movement akin to the abolitionists who appealed to northern consumers not to buy southern-made textiles as a protest against slavery, or that of the Montgomery bus boycotters who asked blacks and white allies not to use public transportation until the segregation of buses ended." The diversity of this coalition is reflected in the images taken by young photographers who joined the farmworker movement. These photographers documented it and volunteered their work for the union. That was the case of photographers John Kouns (1929-2019) and Emmon Clarke (1931-2022). Kouns documented the movement for a decade and was affiliated with the union for more than 40 years. He was committed to photograph and be part of this labor and social struggle while earning a living as a commercial photographer. "Freelancing for food and documenting for the soul," he wrote of his experience with the United Farm Workers union (UFW). Kouns was one of a small group of photographers who documented the farmworker movement since its infancy, always from the perspective of somebody openly sympathetic and concerned about injustices. Only he and Jon Lewis photographed the entire 330-mile march from Delano to Sacramento in 1966. Clarke became part of the movement and volunteered his work for the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA, and later UFW). Clarke became photo editor of the union newspaper El Malcriado in 1966–1967 and he documented union activities in the picket line, in meetings, at rallies, and in the labor camps of the San Joaquin Valley. The Bradley Center and the University Library are adding images to the Farmworker Movement Collection online!