As we turn the corner to the early 1970’s, we find the subject of equality for all people much on the national mind. As many Puerto Ricans moved from New York to the midwest, systemic oppression on a neighborhood level was the norm. The Young Lords began in Chicago’s Lincoln Park area as a turf gang, and were reorganized as a national civil and Human rights organization, with chapters emerging in other cities. They sought self determination for Puerto Ricans, both on the island and here on the mainland, and expanded their program to include equality for all Latinos, including women in their 13 point Platform.
The New York chapter was headed by activist and poet Felipe Luciano, who can be heard at the start of the video below, as Eddie Palmieri takes the ‘stage’ at Rikers Island to demonstrate his solidarity and support for those incarcerated in a place that clearly demonstrates the systemic corruption and oppression of many Americans.