Young Lords

“The Young Lords, later Young Lords Organization and, in New York (notably Spanish Harlem), Young Lords Party, was a Puerto Rican leftist group in several United States cities, notably New York City, and in Lincoln Park, Chicago, the Neighborhood where they were born. The Young Lords began in 1960 as a Puerto Rican turf gang in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. Their president Jose Cha Cha Jimenez reorganized them on Grito de Lares, September 23, 1968 and became founder of the Young Lords as a national civil and human rights movement. This new community wide movement, then networked to nearly 30 cities including three branches in New York city. … Cultural influence. The Young Lords inspired young political and community leaders, professionals and artists, forming part of a Puerto Rican cultural renaissance in the 1970s within the continental United States. In New York City, it was locally known as the Nuyorican Movement although it was part of a nationwide development within the Puerto Rican Diaspora. It included poetry and music. In New York, Felipe Luciano, already a well-known poet within black nationalist circles in Harlem, became the Deputy Chairman of the New York regional chapter. He was soon expelled for male chauvinism and opportunism by the later Young Lords Party, though the National Young Lords Headquarters in Chicago never recognized the expulsion. He recited many poems that he wrote while a member of The Last Poets, including Jíbaro, Un Rifle Oración and Hey Now. Alfredo Matias wrote poems about Afro-Boricua pride and David Hernández also of Chicago recited La Armitage about the Chicago street that became the downtown for Puerto Ricans and the Young Lords. This street extended from Lincoln Park to Humboldt Park and beyond. The song ‘Qué Bonita Bandera’ (‘What a Beautiful Flag’) was written by Pepe y Flora in Puerto Rico and was adopted by the Young Lords as their anthem. It was sung live many times during the take-over of McCormick Theological Seminary and the People’s Church in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood along with the later occupation of the New York People’s Church in Spanish Harlem. … Repression. The Young Lords were a target of the FBI‘s COINTELPRO, which had long harassed Puerto Rican independence groups. The New York-Chicago schism mirrored the ‘Divide and Conquer’ divisions within other New Left groups like the Black Panther Party, Students for a Democratic Society, Brown Berets and many other new left movements. All of these organizations were repressed. At first, the splits were believed to be the result of growing pains, as this movement was very young and spread quickly. …”
Palante, 1970-1971

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Black Power, Documentary, Feminist, Harlem, Newspaper, Poetry, Poverty, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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