The Chicagozamos and The Nuyorican Movement

Feature photo by leahdemilio

The Nuyorican Movement and the father of the movement, Jesus Colon have inspired countless artists, including us here at Gozamos, who are taking another prime player in the movement Tato Laviera’s use of words like AmeRican and Nuyorican to new levels of what can be done with language, combining words to make new words or existing words with words within them. Tato’s ease with both Spanish and English allow him to play with words in an unparalleled fashion. Word…

Ever heard that imitation is the highest form of flattery? The Nuyorican Movement is one that originated in the 1960s in where else but New York, NY. Here in our Gozamos community, we’re starting a simila movement, and I’m about to dub it The Chicagozamos Movement. Chicagoans going out and enjoying what the world has to offer, spitting in the face of bullshit and standing up for what is real. We seek truth. We promote justice and equality, open mindedness and progression. The welcome mat is out, but don’t be trapsin’ mud all over it, ya dig?

Language. The written word. The spoken word. Linguistics. The act of putting pen to paper. These are things that have always intrigued me, inspired me. I truly believe that the pen is mightier than the sword But is it more than a belief? Can this really be true? The Nuyorican Movement strives to prove that words can actually have an impact. Literary movements take time to develop, and only when all members have a clear vision and are led by strength and dignity will it have any success.

There have been many literary movements that would come to define eras: The Beat Movement, Los Contemporaneos, Imagism, The Harlem Renaissance, The Lost Generation, Dadaism and more. All of these movements serve their place in time, and the Nuyorican Movement is no different in inspiring an entire generation of artists and lovers of art.

When setting out to report on the Nuyorican Movement, where does one start? We can trace the roots of the movement back to the beginning of time if we want to get specific. Instead, we will begin in a place many of us have heard of, few of us have been to or lived, and all of us look up to as a pillar in the arts and cultural community. I’m talking, of course, about the Big Apple, The City That Never Sleeps, that first city that makes us Chicagoans second, New York City. Respect where respect due.

When this country first started to develop, New York’s Ellis Island was where countless immigrants passed through to live out their unique dreams. Where those dreams ended up is anyone’s guess, but for many strong Puerto Rican poets, playwrights and artists, that dream is still alive and kicking within a Movement’s community. Over the years and through the turmoil, The Nuyorican Movement has developed a strong following and today finds itself at the pinnacle of achievement, with poetry making a strong (don’t call it a) comeback worldwide. Don’t believe me? Visit New York’s famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe and see for yourself. We here in Chicago have our many poetry hot spots (which we’ll get to soon enough), but this is the place to be in NYC for all things poetry.

We have definitely taken notice of movements like this, and we are proud to take a stand in the same direction. The Chicagozamos Movement will forever be remembered for taking journalism, reporting, critiques, social commentaries, storytelling, humor and narratives to a new level of consciousness and awareness of self and others as we try to understand each other and our purposes and lifestyles better on a day to day basis. Eventually The Movements of past, present, and future will gel enough so that our enlightenment lasts a lifetime. Time is unrelative, and we will get there…

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