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Lorraine Agtang collection

Biography

Lorraine Agtang was born in a labor camp near Delano, California on 1952. Agtang is of Mexican and Filipino descent. Her mother, Lorenza Agtang, was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. Her father, Platon Agtang, was a migrant worker from Cavite Province in the Philippines, who worked at the sugar fields in Hawaii, canneries in Alaska, and the farmworker circuits throughout Central California. . Agtang’s exposure to farm labor activism occurred at an early age, as Agtang and her family left the fields of Chamorro Farms in support of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee during the 1965 Delano Grape Strike.

As Agtang grew older, she became increasingly involved with the United Farmworkers (UFW), first working at the hospital clinic at the UFW’s 40 Acres facility. After the completion of the Agbayani Village retirement home, she served as the facility’s first manager. While working at Agbayani Village, Agtang interacted and befriended several Filipino veterans of the 1965 strike, including Willie Barrientos, Sebastian Sahagun and former UFW Vice President Philip Vera Cruz. During the 1973 Strike, she served as a UFW organizer in Northern and Central California.

Today, Agtang continues to advocate for the history of Filipino Americans in the United Farmworkers, often giving speeches about the accomplishments of Manongs (An Illocano word for “Older Brother,” typically attributed to the original 1965 Filipino strikers). Her image is depicted in the Chavez memorial at Sacramento’s Cesar Chavez Park.

Scope and Content

The Lorraine Agtang papers spans from 1930 to 1980. The records are organized into two series: Photographs, 1930-1980; and Documents, 1973- 1994.

The Photographs are the bulk of her collection, and features a strong emphasis on the creation of Agbayani Village and the elderly Filipino workers of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee and the United Farm Workers.

Additional accruals are expected. 

Series Descriptions

1.  Photographs, 1930-1980.     

Photographs are organized chronologically by date.

The photographs depict Filipino laborers in California's Central Valley, depicting farm life and every day activities. Subjects of the photographs include the creation of Agbayani Village, the Manongs of the Delano Grape Strike, and everyday life in Delano, California.

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2. Documents, 1973-1994.  

Documents are organized chronologically by date of publication.  

Documents include articles and obituaries written by UFW personnel. This series contains an article written by Sebastian Sahugan, along with an obituary written for Philip Vera Cruz.

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