In 2014, President Barack Obama officially made March 31 national Cesar Chavez Day. Chavez, as you may know, was a Mexican-American farmworker and labor activist who helped form what is today known as the United Farm Workers union. But before Chavez (1927–1993) there was another, similar-minded activist named Joe Hill. Born in 1879, Hill was a Swedish-American songwriter, farm labor advocate and member of the Industrial Workers of the World. During Hill’s times, when migrant workers sought a better life, they were told they would get their reward “in the sweet by-and-by,” a phrase derived from a late 1800s Christian hymn that can also be heard in the film Django Unchained. Hill wrote a parody of the song called “The Preacher and the Slave” that substitutes the phrase “pie in the sky” — basically an empty promise of plenty in heaven. Instead of waiting for one’s reward, Hill stressed the need for a livable wage, good working conditions and ample food in the here and now.
Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is never-ending.