Latin Kings and Young Lords in Chicago and New York City

Erika Rodriguez, University of Illinois at Chicago

Under what conditions do gangs transform into street gangs and vice versa? Both the Young Lords Party and the Latin Kings formed as street gangs in Chicago in the 1960s. While the Young Lords transformed into a revolutionary nationalist community organization, the Latin Kings consolidated as a street gang. While the Young Lords have disbanded, the Latin Kings have persisted and have become politicized. The paper examines the factors influencing these developments, including the role of political repression. incarceration, the underground economy, and gentrification.

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Updated 05/20/2006