David Hernández was born in Cidra, Puerto Rico and arrived in Chicago in 1955. He has volunteered with the Young Lords in many activities and events. But his primary community work has been with La Gente, an organization he founded that worked with Latinos and the poor of Lakeview. Originally the group was called the Latin Eagles Organization. Like the Young Lords, La Gente also had a Breakfast for Children Program. The group stood with the Young Lords for affordable housing and against Mayor Richard J. Daley’s displacement of Puerto Ricans from the lakefront and near downtown areas of the city. Mr. Hernández has been called the unofficial, “Poet Laureate of Chicago.” He blends folk, jazz, and Afro-Latin music that chronicles the pedestrian walking down Chicago’s streets. One of his famous poems is called “La Armitage” and features the neighborhood of Lincoln Park and several prominent Young Lords. Mr. Hernández performed at Harold Washington’s mayoral inauguration in 1977 and at his funeral. He also performed in Humboldt Park for the Young Lords and at their 40th Anniversary in 2008. Today, David Hernández lives in Wicker Park, continues to be active in the community, and to collaborate with the Young Lords.
Grand Valley State University. University Libraries. Special Collections & University Archives