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Jiménez, José, 1948-

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Vance, Rebecca

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2017-05-10

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Rebecca “Buffy” Vance was friends with “Stony,” who was a white southerner and one of the main Young Lords from the Wieland branch of the group before they became human rights activists for Latinos and the poor. Stony was about 17-years-old then and lived across from Wieland on North Avenue. His sisters became members of the auxiliary group, the Young Lordettes. Wieland culture was completely different from the culture at Halsted and Dickens and Burling and Armitage where the other main group of Young Lords hung out. The difference was that on Wieland and North Avenue, they did not have to share space with the other Puerto Rican Clubs of Lincoln Park. Pockets of Puerto Ricans left behind from the destruction wrought by urban renewal in the Puerto Rican barrio of La Clark were still around then. Wieland Street was one of the streets that still survived. Masao Yamasaki, a man of Japanese descent, became friends with Stony and other Young lords and tried to help them with counseling and guidance. Mr. Yamasaki did this through the YMCA, where Young Lords would go for swimming and basketball. He owned a factory and started providing a few of them, including Stony, with jobs. And Stony remained in his packaging company for years, becoming a supervisor for the company. Ms. Vance was never in the Young Lords but grew up in Lincoln Park and attended Alcott Elementary at 2625 North Orchard. Alcott School then had an after school program that would supervise the youth at night to keep them out of trouble and off the streets. A few of the Young Lords attended Alcott and spread the word about the program. They would have to walk 8 to 10 blocks to attend but it did help some of them as they participated in sports, arts and crafts, and other activities. There were also the social dances, where youth danced to tunes such as “Wipe-out,” “Twine Time,” “Monkey Time,” and “Louie Louie.” Today Ms. Vance today works at the University of Illinois Circle Campus as Assistant to Communications and Development and Alumni Relations. Prior to joining the College of Law, she worked as a development Secretary for Will AM-FM-TV. Ms. Vance has also worked at Amdocs Inc. and in benefit planning.

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