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Flags of Steel: A Symbol of the Barrio’s Strength – Community members reflect on new documentary

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“Flags of Steel,” a documentary film by Mildred Amador, recently premiered before a packed audience of community leaders, elected officials, Humboldt Park residents, and high school students. For example, Pastor Pedro Windsor of the Capilla del Barrio brought his whole family.

In the film, important Puerto Rican community history is showcased. Pastor Windsor remarked, “This film is a celebration of the history in Humboldt Park. It takes you on a journey and shows you the struggle and the fruit that was born of that struggle.”

The film shows many scenes from the history of Humboldt Park, including the Three Kings parade and the construction of the Paseo Boricua flags on Division Street. “The film showed me that we should be proud of our contribution to our community and our city,” he commented. José Lopez, Ald. Billy Ocasio, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, and other early community residents were shown in the film. News articles and documents were also included.

The most important aspect of the film is its coverage of the struggles of the community. Chris Pérez, a BACCA program student, commented, “The effort that people put into making the flags really showed their dedication to the cause.” Batey Urbano member, Cindy Maldonado pointed out, “This film is important because it relates the reason why they put the flags up. They wanted to make sure that people knew that this was a Puerto Rican neighborhood and that we’re never going to leave.” Pastor Windsor agreed, saying, “The whole film was a historical stream. It told the whole story of our community…”
Xavier Luis Burgos, Outreach Coordinator of the Humboldt Park No Se Vende! campaign, remarked, “This film was selected for viewing because it is about the community, and our community leaders want us to remember our history.” Chris Pérez noted, “Humboldt Park is where the flags are located and for that reason people appreciate the movie more.” This film is about us, and it is important to us. Cindy Maldonado commented, “They were trying to educate people on how the history of Humboldt Park began and educate the people in Humboldt Park about their own history.”

Pastor Pedro said that when he viewed the film, “This is a story of Humboldt Park, past, present, and future. I felt good being who I am in Humboldt Park and seeing how God blessed Humboldt Park.”

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