I found this trio playing together in a Chicago Uptown alley in the mid-1970s. When I asked the boys to tell me a little bit about themselves, the one in the trapeze t-shirt proudly proclaimed that he was Puerto Rican. He then added, “Puerto Ricans are the best!” At that point, his black friend smiled and their little buddy grimaced as if thinking, “Here he goes again!” I quickly snapped the shot.
Uptown in the mid-1970s had a large population of Puerto Ricans that had been pushed north by redevelopment of Chicago’s Near North. A Puerto Rican group called the Young Lords was active in the area. Their headquarters was on Grace. The group was organized by Jose Cha Cha Jimenez who was running for City Council. He was a symbol of hope for many young Puerto Ricans. Jimanez lost the election. However, he won 38% of the vote, a symbolic victory against the Daley machine.