We Took the Streets

Fighting for Latino Rights with the Young Lords by Mickey Melendez

  • Published: Aug 17, 2020

An inside look at the Young Lords, the radical Puerto Rican activist group of the 1960s, from one of its founding members. In 1968 Miguel "Mickey" Melendez was a college student, developing pride in his unique cultural identity as Cuban and Puerto... read more

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Details of We Took the Streets

Exact title of the book
We Took the Streets
Book author
Mickey Melendez
ISBN
9781466858329
Publisher
St. Martin's Publishing Group
Published
Nov 26, 2013
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
272
File size (in PDF)
2448 kB

Some brief overview of book

An inside look at the Young Lords, the radical Puerto Rican activist group of the 1960s, from one of its founding members. In 1968 Miguel "Mickey" Melendez was a college student, developing pride in his unique cultural identity as Cuban and Puerto Rican, while growing increasingly aware of the lack of quality health care, education, and housingnot to mention respecthis people endured for the sake of the American Dream. He was not alone.

Bringing together other like-minded Latino student activists, like Juan Gonzalez, Felipe Luciano, David Perez, and Pablo "Yoruba" Guzman, Melendez helped to form the central committee of what would become the New York branch of the Young Lords. Over the course of the next three years, the Young Lords were a force to be reckoned with. 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 free breakfast and health programs, the Young Lords became known for their bold radical actions, like the takeovers of the First People's Church and Lincoln Hospital. Front-page news, they forced the city to take notice of their demands for social and political justice and make drastic policy changes. Melendez was part of it all, and describes the idealism, anger, and vitality of the Lords with the unsparing eye of an insider.

For the first time, he reveals the extent of the clandestine military branch of the organization and his role coordinating and arming the underground. Although they were active for only a brief period of time, the legacy of the Young Lordstheir urban guerrilla, media-savvy tactics, as well as their message of popular power and liberation, civil rights, and ethnic equityis lasting. We Took the Streets is one man's passionate and inspiring story of the Puerto Rican struggle for equality, civil rights, and independence.

About author

"Mickey" Melendez has a master's degree in public administration and has held executive positions in the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation, Housing Authority, and Department of Education. Melendez has also taught in the Hispanic Studies Department at Baruch College. He remains a committed activist for Puerto Rican rights, most recently against the resumption of bombing on Vieques.

He lives in Bronxville, New York. Jose Torres has been a journalist since the 1950s. He was the first Hispanic to write a regular column for the New York Post, and his work has appeared in New York magazine, Details, Parade, The New York Times, and Playboy, among many others.

Currently, he's a Spanish-language boxing columnist for ESPN and a political columnist for El DiarioLa Prensa in New York. Since winning the 1956 Olympic Silver Medal in Melbourne, and the World's Light-Heavyweight Crown in 1965, Torres has stayed active first as president and then member of the World's Boxing Organization's Board of Directors. He was also chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission for five years.

His books include Fire and Fear The Inside Story of Mike Tyson and Sting Like a Bee The Story of Muhammad Ali.

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