Denise Oliver-Velez

“I was in the Young Lords, and one of the points in the original program was ‘Revolutionary Machismo’. Machismo is reactionary, so you can’t have revolutionary machismo. We women weren’t having it. So we made a very different kind of statement. ‘We want equality for women. Down with machismo and male chauvinism.’”

  Photo by Michael Abramson

Photo by Michael Abramson

Denise Oliver-Velez is currently an adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies at SUNY New Paltz, and is a Contributing Editor for the progressive political blog Daily Kos. Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1947, she currently lives in New York's Hudson Valley on a small farm with her husband, dogs, cats and roosters; growing garlic and roses, and spending time with her hobby of African-American genealogical research, when she isn't teaching or blogging or registering voters.

She has been a political activist and community organizer, was in the Civil Rights movement, women's movement, and AIDS activism movement, and was a member of both the Young Lords Party and the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She worked in community media and public broadcasting for many years, and was a co-founder and program director of Pacifica's first minority-controlled radio station, WPFW-FM, in Washington DC. She was the executive director of the Black Filmmaker Foundation. She has published ethnographic research as part of several HIV/AIDS intervention projects and is working on a book on the women of the Young Lords Party with co-author Iris Morales.