Of the many historical eras, the 1960 era is regarded as one of the most controversial eras ever in the history of America. However, this was not the anticipation that most of American citizens had. At the very beginning of the 1960s, many believed that this was perhaps the most promising era yet. They even dubbed this era the golden age. The expectations of the people intensified in 1961 when John F. Kennedy took the office of the president. His charisma and enthusiasm won the hearts and trust of the American people. They strongly believed that his government would provide solutions to the major problems that they were facing at the time. However, to the surprise of many, the decade turned out to be the complete opposite of what they had expected. The president himself was assassinated, a chaotic storm characterized by protests by civil rights movements engulfed the country, and instead of the war in Vietnam coming to a halt, it intensified. This essay will strive to create an interconnection between these events which shaped up the 1960s. It will tackle incidents relating to the free speech movement, the Vietnam war, the Black Panther Party, Rock-n-roll, and the women’s movement, also known as the feminist movement, as witnessed in this decade.
An issue that had been a thorn in the flesh of the American people was coexistence of the white Americans and the African-Americans. Though the slave trade had been abolished by this time, issues of discrimination were still rampant in society. The African Americans would hence dedicate themselves to fighting for equality for their people in this society. At the very beginning of 1960, some four black students defied the norms of society at that particular time and sat down at a white’s-only lunch counter. Their actions were succeeded by demonstrations at that counter every day, drawing the nation’s attention.
6 years down the line, the African-American community still wanted society to regard them as equal with the rest of the Americans and this led to the formation of the Black Panther Party. It was originally known as the Black panther Party of self-defense but the name changed. This party movement was however founded for the sole purpose of eradicating police brutality in African-American neighborhoods. However, with the rapid expansion of the party and the start of a publication, the objectives of the party had diversified. This diversification meant that the party was keener on social empowerment thus disregarding the exclusivity of race. This however sparked up problems within the party since the radical members differed in opinion with the members that were in support of their socialistic cause. This made the party’s political motive to be disoriented and the government at that time considered the party as a national threat.
The Black community of the United States was not the only entity that was fighting for its civil rights. Gender inequality was still a societal vice that America was...