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From tear gas to tweets: 50 years in the evolution of US activism
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Christian Science Monitor

Christian Science Monitor, July 27, 2018
Posted: October 8th, 2018

On a cross-country drive from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., our quest was to find out how activism has evolved in the past 50 years. Hours of interviews with former and current activists showed us that while the blueprints for battle have changed, the issues many people are fighting for have not. In 1968, the goal was to raise public awareness about the struggle of marginalized communities. Activists then used music, art, and writing as well as protests to bring that struggle forward. What drove those movements was a rather wild hope that it was time for the country to repair what had been broken in American history, says sociologist Todd Gitlin, author of The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage. Across the country, we saw people waking up to causes conservative and liberal they can support and finding a way to fight for them, just as activists did in 1968. Back then it might have meant wearing a brown beret or a black jacket, taking photos for a magazine, or writing a song with a person whose skin was a different color. Today it would look more like donning a pink hat or waving a rainbow flag or running for office when everyone says you cant or shouldnt. Ive become more aware at all levels, says Ms. Oakes, [an] English teacher in West Virginia [who helped organize a successful strike]. We have a platform to build on that I dont think we had a year ago. And its been inspiring to see how weve started something.

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