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Fighting for Latino Rights with the Young Lords by Miguel Mickey MelendezMiguel Mickey Melendez was a member of the Young Lords, which was a Puerto Rican leftist group predominately in New York City during the 60s and 70s Though the Young Lords themselves were not an explicitly militant leftist group, Melendez was the commander of their underground army Rage is also an understandable result of witnessing or being subjected to severe injustice To ignore the reality of such a feeling is not Fighting for Latino Rights with the Young Lords by Miguel Mickey MelendezMiguel Mickey Melendez was a member of the Young Lords, which was a Puerto Rican leftist group predominately in New York City during the 60s and 70s Though the Young Lords themselves were not an explicitly militant leftist group, Melendez was the commander of their underground army Rage is also an understandable result of witnessing or being subjected to severe injustice To ignore the reality of such a feeling is not the answer Rage can be understood as a symptom of moral awareness, as a wake up call coming from one s conscience How to turn that anger into a creative and positive impulse in the struggle for adecent and fair society, is the true challenge, a lifelong quest Puerto Rico was a colony of Spain until the Spanish American war of 1898, then through the Treaty of Paris, Puerto Rico, Guam, Cuba and the Philippines became US colonies Since then, Puerto Rico has been beholden to the US and is currently a commonwealth of the US Puerto Ricans have similar rights and obligations as US citizens such as the military but Puerto Ricans do not pay federal taxes and do not participate in national elections According to the U.S Supreme Court, Puerto Rico belongs to, but is not part of, the United States If that judicial point of view is taken seriously, then Puerto Rico is a belonging, a possession Can one nation possess another Can you imagine someone saying that the United States belongs to, but is not part of, another nation Photo CreditSome of the Young Lords most famous community actions include the garbage offensive, lead offensive and and church offensive When a community stands together and makes a strong statement, it will be heard On this occasion, something had been done to address the problem The same happened in all Young Lords offensives it became our mantra a balance of embarrassing the state, the city, and public and private institutions, and being able to present popular solutions to address the issues at hand The Young Lords broke apart after COINTELPRO intervention into their activities, and the death of one of their leaders This book is great I ve been talking about it all over the place I didn t know very much about the Young Lords and this book tells the stories of a lot of their direct action and organizational history with a great grounding in the history culture of Puerto Rico and Nuyoricans BUT I borrowed this book from Michelle and she warned accurately that you read the book constantly feeling like why don t you ask some women about their experience though Melendez does acknowledge the women s m This book is great I ve been talking about it all over the place I didn t know very much about the Young Lords and this book tells the stories of a lot of their direct action and organizational history with a great grounding in the history culture of Puerto Rico and Nuyoricans BUT I borrowed this book from Michelle and she warned accurately that you read the book constantly feeling like why don t you ask some women about their experience though Melendez does acknowledge the women s movement in Young Lords I still left feeling like the analysis was only as deep as women were empowered, we men kind of recognized it, we fucked things up in the movement by cheating on our women partners constantly Still an excellent book and great resource A good account of the formative years of the Young Lords surrounded by autobiographical information Easy to read and full of details. One of my favorite books Written in a very accessible manner For folks who aren t in the know, The Young Lords were a revolutionary Puerto Rican organization mainly based in New York Some people refer to them as the Puerto Rican version of the Black Panthers.The author, a former member of the Young Lords, conveys a lot of great stories of some of the actions they took For example, they wanted the local hospital to serve the local community needs , but the administration wasn t responding One of my favorite books Written in a very accessible manner For folks who aren t in the know, The Young Lords were a revolutionary Puerto Rican organization mainly based in New York Some people refer to them as the Puerto Rican version of the Black Panthers.The author, a former member of the Young Lords, conveys a lot of great stories of some of the actions they took For example, they wanted the local hospital to serve the local community needs , but the administration wasn t responding, so they took over the hospital auditorium and set up a clinic for the community My memory is a little fuzzy, because it s been a couple of years since I read it, but I think they did some simple things like testing for certain diseases, as well as setting up a very successful drug rehabilitation program Matter of fact, it was so successful, the hospital ended up adopting it and still exists today I believe.I think I found those type of stories inspiring, because they served people s basic needs and they didn t take no for an answer When the government or some other institution was unresponsive they still took action and made the system work for them When the city was collecting garbage in their communities, they pushed the garbage into the middle of the street and set it on the fire This attracted the press and forced the city to deal with the problem At some points they have been a little immature and I think its dangerous to fall into the trap of romanticizing militant like actions, but I think it helped me think outside of the box in terms actions that can be taken to better the community.Unfortunately, like a lot of revolutionary groups from that time period, they seemed to fall into the trap of being too ideological and dogmatic Good book for those wanting to know about the Young Lords I was not familiar with the overall history of the movement so this book is a good primer After reading it, I would say that a definitive book about the subject has not yet truly been written Books on the subject are few, so this book is a must read for anyone interested in the movement. Melendez took me through a solicitous and receptive journey of the YLP, which also includes crucial parts of his own experience as well I feasted on the descriptive cultural tidbits and their struggle to understand who they are on their own terms A definite must read for today s youth of color, many of whom who feels or has no connection to the larger society and d the inflicted trauma we are accustomed to by our social and emotional conditionings The YLP is a def legacy for they gave most o Melendez took me through a solicitous and receptive journey of the YLP, which also includes crucial parts of his own experience as well I feasted on the descriptive cultural tidbits and their struggle to understand who they are on their own terms A definite must read for today s youth of color, many of whom who feels or has no connection to the larger society and d the inflicted trauma we are accustomed to by our social and emotional conditionings The YLP is a def legacy for they gave most of us a footing when we didn t think it was possible in the urban 60s 80s And even today Si, se puede |Download ♹ We Took the Streets: Fighting for Latino Rights with the Young Lords ♏ InMiguel Mickey Melendez was a college student, developing pride in his Cuban and Puerto Rican cultural identity and becoming increasingly aware of the effects of social inequality on Latino Americans Joining with other like minded student activists, Melendez helped form the central committee of the New York branch of the Young Lords, one of the most provocative and misunderstood radical groups to emerge during the s Incorporating techniques of direct action and community empowerment, the Young Lords became a prominent force in the urban northeast From their storefront offices in East Harlem, they defiantly took back the streets of El Barrio In addition to running clothing drives, day care centers, and food and health programs, they became known for their media savvy tactics and bold actions, like the takeovers of the First People s Church and Lincoln HospitalIn this memoir, Melendez describes with the unsparing eye of an insider the idealism, anger, and vitality of the Lords as they rose to become the most respected and powerful voice of Puerto Rican empowerment in the country He also traces the internal ideological disputes that led the group, but not the mission, to fracture inWritten with passion and compelling detail, We Took the Streets tells the story of how one group took on the establishment and won The Young Lords were very flawed, but it makes their successes even sweeter Despite their failures they did a remarkable amount of good for New York and the fact that their crazy tactics actually worked should be an inspiration for all of us who spend our days trying not to go against the grain. I questioned the validity of this book, the deeper I got into it Liked it until their philosophy changed from social reformers to militants w a manifesto They totally lost their way and completely fell apart. Power to the Peoples.