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An American Sign Language translation of English excerpts taken from Cesar Chavez's "Struggle for Justice" speech. Translation was prepared by MJ Bienvenu, Patrick Graybill, Dennis Cokely and performed by Mark Morales. This is part of the Cokely Parallel Corpus collection. Additional materials are provided here for corpus-based research.
English Source Text
We are men and women who have suffered and endured much, and not only because of our abject poverty but because we have been kept poor. The colors of our skins, the languages of our cultural and native origins, the lack of formal education, the exclusion from the democratic process, the numbers of our slain in recent wars–all these burdens generation after generation have sought to demoralize us, to break our human spirit. But—God knows that we are not beasts of burden, agricultural implements or rented slaves; we are men. We are men locked in a death struggle against man’s inhumanity to man in the industry that you represent. And this struggle itself gives meaning to our life and ennobles our dying. As your industry has experienced, our strikers here in Delano and those who represent us throughout the world are well trained for this struggle. They have been under the gun, they have been kicked and beaten and herded by dogs, they have been cursed and ridiculed, they have been stripped and chained and jailed, they have been sprayed with the poisons used in the vineyards; but they have been taught not to lie down and die nor to flee in shame, but to resist with every ounce of human endurance and spirit. To resist not with retaliation in kind but to overcome with love and compassion, with ingenuity and creativity, with hard work and longer hours, with stamina and patient tenacity, with truth and public appeal, with friends and allies, with mobility and discipline, with politics and law, and with prayer and fasting. They were not trained in a month or even a year, after all, this new harvest season will mark our fourth full year of strike and even now we continue to plan and prepare for the years to come. Time accomplishes for the poor what money does for the rich. We do not hate you or rejoice to see your industry destroyed; we hate the agribusiness system that seeks to keep us enslaved, and we shall overcome and change it not by retaliation and bloodshed but by a determined nonviolent struggle carried on by those masses of farm workers who intend to be free and human.
American Sign Language, translation, parallel corpus, American political speeches
Language Interpretation and Translation | Linguistics
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Sign Media, Inc. (1994). American freedom speeches (2012 DVD) [Videos containing political speeches and documents translated into American Sign Language]. www.signmedia.com. http://store.signmedia.com/1811.html
Roush, D., & Schilling, A. (2021). The Dennis Cokely American freedom speeches parallel corpus (1.0) [Dataset]. Eastern Kentucky University Libraries. http://encompass.eku.edu/cokely/