In the midst of the African American liberation struggle, Vietnam War protests, and the women's liberation movement, the Young Lords emerged from Puerto Rican working class communities to demand justice, racial and gender equality, decent living conditions, and an end to the colonial status of Puerto Rico.
The Young Lords Organization began in Chicago. The New York chapter established in 1969 also formed branches in Philadelphia, Bridgeport, Newark, Boston, Puerto Rico and united with affiliates in other cities.
The Young Lords summarized their political beliefs and goals in a 13-point program. It demanded the liberation of all oppressed people in the United States and around the world, and called for socialism.
The Young Lords mobilized Puerto Ricans to fight all aspects of poverty, racism, and injustice. The organization took bold actions, formed community-based campaigns, and organized mass mobilizations to bring attention to the horrific conditions facing Puerto Ricans in the U.S.
Like the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords ran “serve the people” programs such as free breakfast for children; preventive health testing, free clothing drives. They organized educational programs, Puerto Rican cultural events, and history classes.
The Young Lords believed in Power to the People!