Johnny Itliong grew up in the 1960s, surrounded by the agricultural fields of California.

Aleks Itliong and Johnny Itliong at their StoryCorps interview in Reno, NV on June 28, 2023. By Jerry Spikula for StoryCorps.

His father, Larry Itliong, was migrant worker turned labor organizer, who had come to the United States from the Philippines in 1929. Larry eventually led his fellow Filipino workers to strike for better wages and working conditions.

Known today as the Delano Grape Strike, it lasted five years and was one of the most successful in U.S. history.


Top Photo: Larry Itliong speaks to the United Farm Workers, undated photograph, courtesy of Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University.  

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired July 14, 2023, on NPR’s Morning Edition.