Chicago’s Puerto Rican Day Parade in the ’60′s

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By: Bella Vida Letty

Last Friday on my weekly visit to my parents house the subject of old photos came up. Enthusiastically, I began digging around closets in search of old boxes and bins. I hit the jackpot when I found these super cool photos of Chicago in the 60′s. At first I thought my Pops had snapped these photos because he’s such a gadget junkie but it turns out its my Mom who is the historical documentarian.

In 1968, about a year after my Mom moved to Chicago from Puerto Rico her cousins took her to see the Puerto Rican Day Parade in downtown Chicago. It was an annual event the entire community looked forward to.  First a fabulous parade then more festivities at its conclusion in Humboldt Park with performances and music.

They are far from professional shots but they are a treasure because they do capture the enthusiasm and tangible excitement of the people present at this Puerto Rican cultural event. Using her Kodak camera my Mom has captured 1960′s fashion trends, hairstyles and dress.

They also capture the wonderful multi-story brick architecture of the windy city as well as the businesses that occupied them; Lerner Shops, Karolls Men’s Wear & Woolworths. Stores used eye-catching advertising of all sorts including filling windows with slogans in colorful neon lights.

To read the rest and see the beautiful photos, go here: Bella Vida by Letty

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Bella Vida Letty

Born in Chicago to Puerto Rican parents. This nontraditional artist doesn’t stick to just one medium, which is why she uses the title: Creative. Her painting style is abstract and each piece is an expression of an emotion. As a photographer, she creates abstract experimental photography such as light graffiti as well as documentarian, nature and photojournalist. When wearing her writer’s cap, she writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her recent articles relate to topics she cares about such as prejudice, discrimination and feminism because she wants to be part of the generation who creates positive change in this world.  Not only has she published on online journals and news sites but has been blogging for over six years earning BVBL a nomination for Best Art Blog by Latism in 2012.  In addition, she is highly involved with the online Latino community, considered by Voxxi as one of the most powerful Latinas in Social Media.

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