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The Young LordsA Radical History$
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Johanna Fernández

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653440

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653440.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Diseases of Poverty

Diseases of Poverty

(p.135) Chapter Five Diseases of Poverty
The Young Lords

Johanna Fernández

University of North Carolina Press

Beyond its work on sanitation, the Young Lords responded to a series of other neighborhood problems that fell within the scope of public health. In the fall, the group launched its first children’s breakfast program alongside the Black Panthers. In tandem with community groups and hospital medical and administrative staff, the group was thrust into a larger political debate about the changing structure of healthcare in the city to which it contributed a document called the Young Lords’ 10-Point Health Program and Platform. In what is perhaps the Young Lords’ most enduring legacy, the group brought militancy to a pre-existing campaign against childhood lead poisoning that pressured City Hall to take action on a silent public health crisis. But, why health? Close analysis of this lesser-known campaign reveals that larger forces steered the Young Lords’ turn to health. They were, in part, following the example of the Cuban Revolution, which made dignified healthcare-for-all a signature aspiration of revolutionaries around the world. They were also propelled by post-war changes in the structure of medical care in the U.S. as well as by high rates of illness among the new migrants and the unintended consequences of their greater access to healthcare in the age of civil rights, which ironically also increased the incidence of medical discrimination.

Keywords:   Young Lords, 10-Point Health Program, Cuban Revolution, Healthcare, Lead Poisoning, Healthcare for All, Medical discrimination, Public Health

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