Latin Liberation News Service: The Newspapers of the Young Lords Organization

“The Young Lords began in 1959 as a street gang in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. By the end of the next decade it had transformed into an explosive social movement rooted in communities across the country. After reorganizing and formally adopting revolutionary politics in 1968, members of the newly dubbed Young Lords Organization (YLO) committed themselves to educating, uplifting, and fighting for the struggling poor in Lincoln Park and beyond. Their bold tactics, which included a mixture of street protests, building occupations, and ‘survival programs’, quickly garnered wide media attention. News of their audacious actions inspired activists elsewhere, and by 1970 several chapters of the YLO had formed in New York. The movement would eventually spread even further, to cities such as Milwaukee, Newark, and Philadelphia (among other places). Young Lords leaders in Chicago and across the nation saw the production and distribution of independent newspapers as an important part of their political work. They considered these newspapers to be one of the principal means through which to spread their message and grow their organization. The work done to produce and distribute these newspapers was also seen as indispensable to the intellectual and political development of the organization and its activists. Newspapers were viewed as an educational tool. They were a medium through which to engage people in dialogue, raising their level of class consciousness and gaining new recruits in the process. As well, these newspapers were seen as a way to connect with outside activists, fellow travelers, and kindred organizations, thereby securing financial support and strengthening bonds of solidarity. This essay seeks to discuss the newspapers published by the YLO and to tell the stories of the people who produced them. Utilizing information contained in a wealth of documentary and oral history resources (including personal interviews recently conducted with Young Lords leaders) this essay will discuss both the goals Young Lords activists had in mind when they created and distributed their newspapers, as well as the obstacles and challenges that often hampered their efforts. It will also highlight the influence of both local social pressures and international social movements in helping to shape these publications. Hopefully the unique information contained in this discussion will contribute towards a better understanding of this woefully understudied movement.  …”
[PDF] Latin Liberation News Service: The Newspapers of the Young Lords Organization
DePaul University Library: El Young Lord Latin Liberation News Service (Y.L.L.N.S.), vol. 1, no. 1

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