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It's Gonna Be Alright Palante Siempre Palante

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Photo by Michael Abramson, Untitled (Iris Morales, Denise Oliver, and other Young Lords), c. 1970 Courtesy Bronx Museum of Art

This Latin@ Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) I’m looking forward to seeing one of the sites of the exhibit Presente: The Young Lords in New York. Inspired by the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords were a youth-led organization founded on the Lower East Side of Manhattan that advocated for the rights of Puerto Ricans. In addition to exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem, there is art and archival materials at the Loisada Center.  The Loisada site focuses on the LGBTQ members of the organization and the Young Lord Party’s support for Gay and Lesbian rights.

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While some of YLP’s positions, such as are still considered radical 40 years later, some are now considered baseline for democracy today.  Their motto Palante Siempre Palante – Forward Always Forward drove their brave vision of a world in which everyone enjoys human rights and Puerto Ricans in particular are free from imperialism and subjection.  I find that when I remind myself, Palante Siempre Palante I can embrace the possibilities of the future more than I grieve time that has been lost in the past.

Yours in Solidarity,

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Robin J. Hayes

Executive Director, Progressive Pupil

Writer/Director/Producer, Black and Cuba

3 thoughts on “It's Gonna Be Alright Palante Siempre Palante

  1. The Black & Cuban concept has been a fluid one for years, sometimes positive and at other times negative. I grew up with Afro/Cuban Jazz environment in New Jersey/New York; so the connection has always been a rich and rewarding one for me personally!
    But I also grew up understanding why Cuba was so divided by the racial drama of its day. Just like the United States then and now. Florida’s Cuban population may take exception to your organization waxing and waning so poetically about the connection.
    But me I cool with the whole thought of those Afro/Cuban rhythms in the background of one of Leroy Jones poems from back in the day!

  2. Many times I beat myself up for not being the ” world changer” that I was raised to be. I did not understand that though I am no global figure head, I am a world changer in my family and in my community . We spend so much time meditating on the things that we haven’t done or our inability to keep up with our own personal timelines. I would add to this by saying ” be fluid so that you can keep moving forward.” Even if your journey doesn’t follow the route you planned you have to believe that you will get to where you need to be.

  3. Kendrick Lamar delivered a powerful message in his video and his message. It made me think of Nelson Mandela and his message. He fought for justice, peace and equality, and was put in prison for 27 years because people thought he was a terrorist. They may have kept him in captivity, but they didn’t capture his mind. He touched and inspired the world through his perseverance and he made people believed that everything will be “alright.”

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