Hippie Counterculture In The 1960's

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The decade of the 1960's is well known for being a period of vast change in the United States. The Civil Rights Movement was in full swing and had the U.S. on its heels. Inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the spirit of the times, student activism became prevalent across the nation. A second wave of Women's Rights also arose during this decade and adopted tactics similar to that of the Civil Rights Movement. Another well-organized group that rose to prominence during the 1960's was the Black Power Movement, which differed from the Civil Rights Movement in many ways, but was also concerned with the Black struggles. All of these movements changed the landscape of U.S. politics and society. However, one can argue that the hippie counterculture …show more content…
The roots of the hippie movement can be traced back to bohemian subcultures of the 1800's, but mostly owe their inspiration to the 1950's Beat Generation, otherwise known as Beatniks or Beats***(maybe cite?). In fact, it was from the Beats that the hippies attained the name "hippie." According to Charles Perry's The Haight-Ashbury: A History, "the Beats derisively called some of them hippies (junior grade hipsters), and by default that group had started using the name itself." Thus, it appears that hippies did not have a unified identity from the very beginning. Like the Beatniks, though, hippies had a strong "disdain for corporate America and the politics of inequality and war." Beyond that, the hippies were entirely different from the Beatniks and lacked a singular identity like that of the Beatniks. This is a repeating theme that will continuously be revisited throughout this study. While hippies did not have a singular identity, all true hippies did share certain similarities. Hippies wanted an "'alternative mode of existence'" which "supposedly rejected all that contemporary America stood for, both materially and ideologically." As a consequence, hippies "took significant doses of relatively unknown 'psychedelic' drugs, engaged in a large degree of sexual freedom, [and] based their lives on a 'love …show more content…
In January of 1967, a free concert in San Francisco called the Human Be-In marked the beginning of the Summer of Love. The concert, organized by artist Michael Bowen, drew a crowd upwards of 20,000 people. It included key speakers, many which were seen as leaders of the hippie movement, but most notable of all present at that concert was Timothy Leary, a Harvard professor who advocated for the use of LSD. It was at that concert that Leary delivered his famous speech and spoke the line that would eventually become one of the hippies' mantras, "turn on, tune in, and drop out". It inspired many hippies during this colorful period of time to do just that. All hippies "turned on," meaning they took LSD. Many dropped out or withdrew from society. Organized events such as the Human Be-In received national attention. However, the attention and reputation were not exactly one they were actively seeking. Following the Human Be-In "hippies were further popularized in the mainstream press as rebellious youth, dismissive of authority, anti-Vietnam activists, psychedelically crazed, and advocates of free love and rock and roll." Of course, this brought a storm of disdain upon them from mainstream culture. Even so, many young people, who were not all hippies, soon started to trickle into San Francisco, most of them settling in the now famous

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