Carlos Flores (1969)

PuertoRicanChicago.com is a website featuring photographs captured by Carlos Flores, over the last four decades while residing in Chicago’s Puerto Rican/Latino community.

Photographs presented on this website captures Chicago’s Puerto Rican/Latino community engaging at their leisure (community & personal events), and at their work. Some of the photographs featured on this website have been presented in Chicago art venues, video documentaries, and published in books & magazines, and academic journals.

Carlos Flores was born in Guayama, Puerto Rico in 1949, and has resided in the city of Chicago since 1959. He received a B.A. & Master Degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Mr. & Ms. Gonzalo & Matilde Flores are his parents, along with sisters Mirna, Carmen, Rosa, Elizabeth, brother Rafael, and numerous foster brothers & sisters.

Mr. Flores has a track record of community & cultural activism in Chicago’s Latino community that stems to the late 1960’s to the present. In the 1960’s he was a member of Young Lords Organization and became involved (along with the Black Panther Party & the Rising Up Angry Coalition) with radical politics in Chicago. Throughout his entire life Mr. Flores has been involved in social justice movements on behalf of Chicago’s Latino community. He worked with the U.S. Office for Civil Rights (DHHS), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission/Chicago District Office, as an anti-discrimination investigator in employment and the provision of services. In the late 1980’s, he served as the Administrator of the Personnel Affirmative Action Program at the Chicago Public Schools.

In the mid 1990’s, Mr. Flores was the coordinator of Project KALINDA at the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago. Project examined the relationships of the African-influence music in the region of the Americas, i.e. Mexico, Caribbean, Central & South America, and the USA. In 2002, Mr. Flores served as a contributor for the 848 Radio Program on Chicago’s s Public Radio Station WBEZ. His interviews covered social, political, and cultural events taking place in Chicago’s Latino community.

Carlos Flores & Frisky – 2002 (Photograph by Marc Pokempner)
Carlos Flores & Frisky – 2002 (Photograph by Marc Pokempner)
Mr. Flores also has an extensive record as an artistic cultural activist promoting Puerto Rican /Latino culture in the city of Chicago. As a photographer and a writer, his materials have been published & exhibited at the City Gallery at Water Tower (2003), and at the CENTRO Journal – Center for Puerto Rican Studies in NYC, DIALOGO Magazine – Center for Latino Research De Paul University, KALINDA Newsletter Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago. His photographs have also been featured in books, films and videos – most recent in the Gangland Program on the History Channel (Maniac Disciples- 2008), and Chicago’s Puerto Rican Story (2008). His photographs were also feature in the exhibit presented by the Stone Center for Black Culture & History at the University of North Carolina entitled, “Radicals in Black & Brown: Palante, People’s Power, and Common Cause in the Black Panthers & the Young Lords Organization (2007).

His essay and images were recently published in the book entitled, The Afro-Latin@ Reader; History and Culture in the United States (Duke University Press 2010).

He has served as a member of various community and political organizational boards in Chicago, i.e. Erie Neighborhood House, Mayor Washington’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs, Chicago Historical Society Community Advisory, Humboldt Park Vocational Center, the Office of the Puerto Rican Community Affairs.

In the last several years Mr. Flores has been a board member of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, and is currently serving as the Artistic Director of the Latin Jazz Festival, held annually during the summer months in Humboldt Park Chicago, and sponsored by the Jazz Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Park District. He currently serves on the Chicago Jazz Festival planning committee. He is one of the founders of the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, creator of the Puerto Rican Cuatro Festival, and is currently the Chairperson of the Afro-Latin@ Institute of Chicago. He is also the founder of the Puerto Rican Community Chorus.

Mr. Flores is one of the founders & coordinator of the Puerto Rican Tiple Construction Workshop This workshop is sponsored by San Lucas United Church of Christ & the Puerto Rican Cuatro Project, and 2014 will be the Eight-year the project has been implemented.