America Sorrentini was born in Puerto Rico. She moved first to Boston and then to Chicago, arriving in the 1970s. Ms. Sorentini's parents were prominent organizers and activists in the struggle for Puerto Rican self-determination, working primarily in and around Santurce, Puerto Rico. Ms. Sorrentini, or “Mecca” as she is known, began her own community activism in Boston working on a variety of issues including housing. By the time Ms. Sorrentini arrived in Chicago she was already aware of the work of the Young Lords and remained in solid contact with the Young Lords. She, and the Chicago Puerto Rican Socialist Party, assisted with the Jiménez aldermanic campaign and later the Harold Washington campaign. When the Young Lords celebrated their official founding date, which is September 23rd the same day as the Grito de Lares or Puerto Rican Independence Day, they selected Ms. Sorrentini to be their keynote speaker.
Grand Valley State University. University Libraries. Special Collections & University Archives