“A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke

 

 

Sam Cooke wrote this song in response to personal experiences. The most specific incident that inspired the song was when Cooke and his friends were turned away from an all-white hotel.

Cooke was outraged. He was arrested that night for “disturbing the peace”.

He wanted to write a song that illustrated his and so many others’ hardships just because of the color of their skin.

It was released on December 22, 1964. Sam Cooke was fatally shot two weeks before the official release. The song became a Civil Rights Movement anthem because of its message and proclamation of hope for a change.

 

What is Counterculture?

[Compiled by Roz Bevan and Corianna Moffatt]

Counterculture is the shift in lifestyle that rejected conventional/established manners, morals, and behaviors. The youth began to embrace naturalness, self-expression, self-realization, nudity, and drug-use.

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Photo caption: Paperbag magazine was an “underground” magazine that exhibited the interests of the counterculture.

Note Paperbag‘s headings –

“Pot Laws Are Archaic!” – On November 8, 2016, Massachusetts voters will select “yes” or “no” on ballot Question 4.

QUESTION 4. Legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana. If voters say “yes,” Massachusetts will join Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Washington state and District of Columbia in legalizing marijuana for recreational use.[3]                               

-https://ballotpedia.org/Massachusetts_Marijuana_Legalization,_Question_4_(2016)

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Student power

1968 was a huge election year – then President Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat), announced he would not be running for re-election.  His escalation of the Vietnam War during his time in office affected his public appeal greatly, especially with students. The late 60s saw the rise of numerous social change groups – notably, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Panther Party, the Feminist Movement, the Environmental Movement, the Hippie Movement, the Anti-Nuclear Movement.

The Democratic contenders were Hubert Humphrey, Robert F Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy, and George McGovern. Robert F. Kennedy was a huge favorite of the youth.  He had a long history of speaking out against the Vietnam War.  On June 6, 1968, in the campaign celebration that followed the release of the results of the California State Primary (with Bobby Kennedy narrowly coming out on top), Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed. Hubert Humphrey went on to become the 1968 Democratic Nominee for President.

The US was in uproar throughout 1968.  Over 100 riots occurred in cities throughout the country.

From an excellent Politico article by Josh Zeitz, July 18, 2016, How Trump Is Recycling Nixon’s ‘Law and Order’ Playbook: Almost 50 years ago, Nixon used fear of crime to tap into a broad array of popular anxieties. Today, even with crime at all time lows, Trump’s trying the same.

“By focusing incessantly on racially coded issues like crime and urban unrest, Nixon signaled to white voters that he offered a respectable alternative to Wallace. Campaigning throughout the upper South, he endorsed the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which banned segregation in public schools, but also assured white voters that he felt it was wrong for the federal government to “force a local community to carry out what a federal administrator or bureaucrat may think is best for that local community.” Even the conservative Wall Street Journal criticized Nixon’s “harsh and strident efforts to capitalize on deep-seated discontent and frustration. This is the Richard Nixon who tells a whistle-stop rally in Deshler, Ohio that in the 45 minutes since his train left Lima, one murder, two rapes and 45 major crimes of violence had occurred in this country—and that ‘Hubert Humphrey defends the policies under which we have seen crime rise to this point.’” The former vice president was peddling a brand of “extremism [that] seems not only unnecessary but self-defeating. … In a society already deeply divided by fear and mistrust, Mr. Nixon’s hard line seems sure to deepen the divisions.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/07/donald-trump-law-and-order-richard-nixon-crime-race-214066#ixzz4K34IYIQv

 

As a reminder, we are in a very important election year. Rock the VOTE.

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Where to begin?

1968.

A year of unrest in the United States. The Vietnam War .  The Civil Rights movement gains momentum. Civil rights leader, While in Memphis to address the unequal wages of black sanitation workers, Martin Luther King, Jr is assassinated after his plane is delayed due to bomb threats.   Democratic presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy, is assassinated in a room of campaign supporters after celebrating a victory in the California state primary.  Generations are divided.

Martin Luther King, Jr’s last speech, “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop.”

Well I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop.  And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!