Lolita Lebrón

Changemakers from ¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now

The Print

Media - 1995.50.34 - SAAM-1995.50.34_2 - 138136

Linda Zamora Lucero, Lolita Lebrón ¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre!, 1975, screenprint on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, 1995.50.34

Linda Zamora Lucero
born San Francisco, California

Lolita Lebrón, ¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre!
screenprint on paper
Gift of Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, 1995.50.34

Lucero learned about Lolita Lebrón, a radical Puerto Rican nationalist, when she traveled to Cuba as a college student. Lebrón became a symbol of Puerto Rican independence. Lucero, who sympathized with her cause, wedded Lebrón’s likeness and words to the Puerto Rican flag, which appear beneath her pensive portrait.

The Person

A photograph of a woman

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, LC-USZ62-138954

Lolita Lebrón
born 1919 – Lares, Puerto Rico
died 2010 – San Juan, Puerto Rico

“My life I give for the freedom of my country.”

Lolita Lebrón was a Puerto Rican nationalist leader. In 1954, she and three others fired shots into the U.S. House of Representatives and demanded full independence for Puerto Rico, which had become a U.S. commonwealth two years earlier. Five members of Congress were injured. For her role as the leader of the attack, Lebrón served half of a fifty-year prison sentence before she was granted clemency by President Jimmy Carter. She continues to be an iconic figure in the ongoing movement for Puerto Rican independence.