Skip to main content

Between Borinquen and the Barrio: Environmental Justice and New York City’s Puerto Rican Community, 1969–1972

Buy Article:

The full text article is temporarily unavailable.

We apologise for the inconvenience. Please try again later.

The last decade has seen an upsurge of both scholarly and popular interest in the US environmental justice movement. What is largely missing from this contemporary discussion is any sense of the historical roots of this new wave of environmental activism. This paper explores the emergence of a radical Puerto Rican organization called the Young Lords that was active in a number of US cities in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In New York City, the Young Lords successfully mobilized their community through a series of direct actions devoted to improving public services, the creation of new community spaces and the assertion of cultural identity. I examine the internal tensions within the organization as it sought to extend its role beyond community-based concerns such as sanitation and health care towards more abstract political goals, including demands for Puerto Rican independence. It is argued that the ultimate disarray of this radical phase of Latino political activism cannot be understood separately from a series of wider developments, including the gathering pace of urban decline, the marginalization of the US left and the dissolution of the New Deal era. Although the movement faded away in the 1970s, a legacy of diasporic environmentalism dedicated to the transformation of the urban environment has provided a powerful degree of political continuity with contemporary struggles for environmental and social justice.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, University College London, UK email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2002-09-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more