Pedro Pietri and Miguel Piñero were two prominent artistic figures in the Puerto Rican Civil Rights movement throughout the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Their works, such as Piñero’s play Short Eyes and Pietri’s poem Puerto Rican Obituary garnered the artists public attention and a platform to speak on their political beliefs and ideals.
In 1969, Pietri and Piñero aided in the establishment of the New York branch of the Young Lord’s Organization. This organization consisted of Nuyorican Artists who were searching for a model for political movement that reflected that of the Black Panther Movement. Their involvement in this organization helped to develop the Nuyorican Poetry Café, a public space in which Puerto Rican artists could share their critiques, concerns, solutions, and hopes for the New York Puerto Rican society, as well as American society as a whole.
Our timeline focuses on the establishment of these organizations because we feel that the public space plays an integral role in gaining power in a movement. The Nuyorican Poetry Café presents the Puerto Rican Civil Rights movement with artistic intellectuals, like Pietri and Piñero, and facilitates the use of literature in social movements.