The Original Rainbow Coalition, formed in Chicago in the late 1960’s, was the alliance between the Chicago Black Panther Party, Puerto Rican Young Lords, and Poor White Young Patriots Organization. It was one of the moments in the history of this country where poor people came together across racial lines to build power, support each other, and fight for their shared interests.

The Original Rainbow Coalition represented a real threat to the established powers both locally in Chicago and nationally. The Chicago police conspired with the FBI to assassinate Fred Hampton, one of the key figures from the Black Panther Party, in his bed and to seriously undermine the Rainbow Coalition effort.

On Friday, September 9th at 12pm, we held an online seminar about the history of the Original Rainbow Coalition and its lessons for today. We’ll be led by James Tracy, co-author of Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times and Hy Thurman, who was a leader in the Young Patriots Organization at the time of the Rainbow Coalition.

An audio recording of the seminar is available below.

Top image from Getty Images/Paul Sequeira