Feeding the Revolution in the 1970s: The Young Lords in the Bronx

rro0035's picture

I interviewed Young Lord Vicente “Panama” Alba while doing research for my book Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black and Latino Coalitions in New York City From Protest to Public Office (2014). The book looks at the history of black-Latino coalitions in New York City during the years of 1959 to 1989. In reflecting on its genesis, members of the New York chapter of the Young Lords wrote in a 1972 joint resolution that their group, “ideologically as well as organizationally,” had been patterned after Fred Hampton’s Black Panther Party chapter in Chicago. While originally focused on the issues of gentrification and Puerto Rican displacement, the mission of the Young Lords soon broadened to include police misconduct, health care, tenants’ rights, education, and nutrition. While being a Nuyorican political organization, the New York Young Lords chapters had a significant number of African American, Dominican, Mexican, Cuban, and Panamanian members.

This is an important story which highlights largely unknown agents of historic change in the city and the politicians, political strategists, and union leaders whose careers are built on this history. As this interview in the podcast below illustrates, it is a story that delves into the role that food plays in social movements. 

Click on the play button ► to listen to the interview

Hero image: Cover of Frederick Douglass Opie's book Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black and Latino Coalitions in New York City from Protest to Public Office (Columbia University Press, 2014).

© Frederick Douglass Opie. Published by permission in Centro Voices on 22 May 2015.

Centro Voices (ISSN: 2379-3864).
The views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of Centro Voices, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies or Hunter College, CUNY.