4 pages/≈1100 words
Describe the Contributions of the Baby Boomer Generation to the Reforms in California (Essay Sample)
The Baby Boom Generation in College and Reforms
The Baby Boom Generation in College and Reforms
We owe the current freedom and equality we enjoy today to the accomplishments of the student movements of the 60â€™s. The student movements of that time, to some extent, were very important in bringing the Jim Crow Racial segregation to an end. These movements also had a hindering influence on the ability of America to blatantly pursue imperialistic foreign policy that had led to the Vietnam. Through the studentsâ€™ movements, the Womenâ€™s Liberation movement was ushered in. The student protest movements led to profound changes to the American society. This is how the Berkeley in the 1960â€™s has been interpreted. The current paper provides evidences from the 1960â€™s to support this interpretation of Berkeley in the 1960â€™s.
It is accurate and proper to state that the movements and protests of the students in the 1960â€™s were fundamental in causing change in the American society. The Free Speech Movement (FSM) of the University of California, located in Berkeley, arranged a protest of many thousands of students. This was held in 20th November 1965, outside a meeting of the Regents of the University of California. The meeting of the Regents was for discussing how the FSM could be dealt with. This movement had developed from the students who had been involved in the Civil Rights movement (Cohen & Zelnik, 2003).
Free Speech Movement was founded by the students who had been involved in the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE), and the Southern Civil Rights movement. There are some Berkeley students who had gone to work with CORE in the summer of 1964 only to return in September 1964. After the arrest of Jack Weinberg in October 1st, many students surrounded the police car in which Jack was being carried away. After 32 hours, he was released after President Clark Kerr of the University of California had worked out a compromise. This is when the FSM was formed. The students formed FSM to fight for the right to free speech (O'Brien, 2002).
They also fought against the Jim Crow segregation policies. On September 30th 1964, the students organized a 10-hour sit in in Sproul Hall, imitating the A&T Four A&T University in Greensboro. The sit-in movements were effective in ushering in the Civil Rights Act. They also sparked and initiated the Womenâ€™s Liberation Movement.
Over many proceeding months, the movement battled with the school administration by use of marches, petitions and arrests. Come December 1964, the students had already achieved their goal. They opened up a political activity in the University of California, Berkeley campus.
The Baby Boom generation are the individuals who were born in the period of 1946-1964 (Russell, 2012). This was a period after the World War II when there was a massive increase in births. In the 1960s, most of the boomers who had been born between 1946 and 1951 had become teenagers. These individuals were influential in accelerating social change. It is the Baby Boom generation that were in college who protested against the segregation against blacks (The master trend, 1994).
Ezell Blair, Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond, the A&T Four, were all members of the Baby Boom generation. They are the ones who started up the famous sit-in movements in 1st February 1960. They were all freshmen at the A&T University in Greensboro, North Carolina. As a result of the sit-in protests, the civil rights Bill was passed massively by the Congress. The National Public Accommodations Act was also formulated as a result of the protests. It was from the bravery, courage and unrelenting spirit of the four that powered the protests that ended up being the model and the inspiration for the civil rights, anti-war and womenâ€™s liberation movements that followed (Franz & McClelland, 1994).
Free Speech Movement was inspired by the CORE, which was also inspired by the A&T Four protests. In turn, the FSM was a symbol of student activism. It also influenced the Civil Rights movement on the California students (Cohen & Zelnik, 2003). CORE was a national Civil Rights Organization that was dedicated to bringing an end to racial discrimination and segregation. The success of the students to achieve free speech and political activity in the university greatly influenced the Civil Rights movements outside the South. The activism of the students also prepared the way for subsequent California students who would concentrate on the Vietnam War and promote political power for the people of color (Schrecker, 2003).
When Californiaâ€™s attention was drawn to the Vietnam War in 1965, the students held the Vietnam War demonstrations. However, the nature of protests had changed. Instead of the non-violent protests that were held before, the students were more violent in their protests and the police were increasingly used I controlling riots. Students sought riots for the fun of it, and it drew non-students from outside the University of California. The campus buildings got firebombed over the ROTC crisis (Thomas, 2008). Later on, Free Huey movement was held so that Huey P. Newton who had been arrested for shooting a police officer, could be released (Cohen & Zelnik, 2003). Police confrontations were more rampant, including the 1969 march with the National Guard troops (Schrecker, 2003).
In the 1960s, the teenagers were massively breaking away from the popular culture in terms of their behaviors and appearance. They developed new lifestyles including drug experimentations and new forms of music. Among the black girls, the Afro hairstyle became the trend. Many of the teenagers became political activists while others just d...
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