This is part two of a two-part series looking at the historical 1966 farm workers strike in Texas.
Our collective dictionary for the concept of civil rights, historically speaking, includes heroes such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. It includes iconography like the white signs held by striking Memphis sanitation workers, proclaiming “I am a man” in bold capital letters. It includes songs, like “We shall overcome.”
But our dictionary is incomplete without the names of people like Daria Vera from Rio Grande City, Texas – a heroine in her own right.
“Yo todo el tiempo anduve delante, yo nunca tuve miedo.”
“I was always at the forefront of the fight,” Vera says in Spanish, “and I was never afraid.”
At the time Vera was 20 years old.
“Yo sabia que nos iban a golpear, que nos iban a arrastrar, que nos iban a arrestar – muchas veces hasta podrian habernos matado.”
Vera says in Spanish that when she walked off her farm-working job in 1966, she knew Texas Rangers would beat her up and arrest her. She says she knew she could’ve been killed. But Vera stuck with the strike.