Further Reading

Slouching Towards Atlanta: The Influence of Churches on Atlanta’s Hippie Community

Timothy Cole Hale

This thesis discusses how local churches and church groups shaped Atlanta’s hippie community during the late-1960s through the early-1970s. The Atlanta Friends Meeting participated in protests and draft counseling, which resonated with the city’s hippies, who in turn influenced some Quakers to adopt hippie dress and to create communal homes. Meanwhile, Harcourt “Harky” Klinefelter formed the Ministry to the Street People, which provided aid to the city’s youth who fell victim to the negative side effects of the Sixties counterculture. In working with the city’s youth, Klinefelter bore witness to the unsanitary conditions of the city’s jail, causing him to lead efforts to have it cleaned. Lastly, a coffeehouse operated by a Methodist minister is detailed that held weekly church services and organized social projects. These projects included employment services, art scholarships, and a free clinic. Together, these individuals and their institutions distinguished Atlanta’s counterculture from those in other cities.

Free Download at: https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/history_theses/128/

A New Way of Living Together: A History of Atlanta’s Hip Community, 1965-1973

Christopher Allen Huff

This dissertation discusses the history of Atlanta’s hip community, a complex grouping of radicals, hippies, antiwar supporters, underground journalists, street people, college activists and progressive social workers that existed from the mid-1960s until the first years of the 1970s. This project explores how a true community developed in the face of the region’s staunch social and political conservatism. While college administrators cautiously tolerated student activists, city officials attempted to rid the city of the hip district, the “Strip,” that developed in Midtown. This opposition, combined with a shared belief that a new nation needed to emerge out of the racism of the Jim Crow South, the destruction of the Vietnam War and the conformity of suburban Cold War America, created a communal identity which manifested itself in student movements, an underground newspaper, a diverse antiwar movement and a belief that parts of Atlanta belonged to hips. Developing slowly in the years after 1965, the hip community experienced its zenith from 1968 to 1970 when thousands of people demonstrated against the Vietnam War, moved into the Strip, and came together in multiple ways to solve their own problems in their own way. The introduction of heroin and other hard drugs along with an increase in the Strip’s population of addicts, vulnerable runaways and bikers threatened the recently achieved successes in Midtown, leading hips, private social service agencies, and local churches to work together at solving these problems. A brief window of cooperation between hips and city leaders closed when the threat of a massive migration of new hips to the Strip in the summer of 1970 led the mayor and police to increase their efforts at controlling the hip community. These problems, along with an increase in violence in the Strip, the de-escalation of the Vietnam War and the acceptance by mainstream society of New Left and countercultural elements led to the slow decline of the hip community over several years and its complete demise by the first months of 1973.

Free Download at: https://getd.libs.uga.edu/pdfs/huff_christopher_a_201205_phd.pdf

Ruffled Feathers: The Great Speckled Bird as a Record of Student and Youth Activism in Atlanta, Georgia and the Southeast, 1968-1976

Katherine Perrotta

The sixties and seventies were a time of great cultural, social, and political change in the United States. Events including civil rights demonstrations, anti-war protests, environmental movements, and gender rights sparked activism among students and young people across the country. In order for American youth to mobilize, they turned to alternative media outlets to disseminate information about their causes. The Great Speckled Bird (commonly referred to as The Bird) was an example of such an alternative newspaper that was published in Atlanta, Georgia from 1968–1976 and reported on student and youth activism concerning the Vietnam War, LGBTQ issues, race, environmental matters, and corporate and political corruption.

The Bird serves as an important historical record of student activism in Atlanta and the Southeast during the sixties and seventies. Historiographical focus on student and youth demonstrations during the mid-twentieth century “perceive the United States as a cultural entity defined by the West Coast and Northeastern seaports, with points in between consisting of Ann Arbor, Chicago, and Madison”. As a result, there has been “little interest in exploring the rest of the country, let alone examining less prestigious universities and their communities”. Although Zaroulis and Sullivan (1984) contend that Southern cities were “hardly hotbeds of radicalism for speeches outside of Washington,” Jeffrey Turner (2010) argues that the South was “the epicenter of a national debate over fundamental moral and political issues” such as racial segregation, voting, education reform, and political enfranchisement on the local, state, and federal levels. As a result, analysis of The Bird’s reporting of these issues, as well as the response to these reports by local and school officials, can provide deeper insights about the role students in Southern cities such as Atlanta had in participating in major social movements during the 1960s and 1970s.

Through examination of the Georgia State University Labor Archive’s digitized collection of The Bird and oral history interviews with paper founders and staffers, the purpose of this research is to analyze how articles in The Great Speckled Bird serve as a historiographical record of student and youth activism in Atlanta, Georgia and the Southeast during its publication run from 1968–1976 and examine how matters concerning free speech in mainstream and alternative publications still bear relevancy to twenty-first century American education with regard student activism, the First Amendment, and curricular goals of discerning the reliability of print and online content.

Free download at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328335726_Ruffled_Feathers_The_Great_Speckled_Bird_as_a_record_of_student_and_youth_activism_in_Atlanta_Georgia_and_the_Southeast1968-1976

Dixie Lullaby: A Story of Music, Race, and New Beginnings in a New South

Mark Kemp

Rock & roll has transformed American culture more profoundly than any other art form. During the 1960s, it defined a generation of young people as political and social idealists, helped end the Vietnam War, and ushered in the sexual revolution. In Dixie Lullaby, veteran music journalist Mark Kemp shows that rock also renewed the identity of a generation of white southerners who came of age in the decade after segregation — the heyday of disco, Jimmy Carter, and Saturday Night Live.

Growing up in North Carolina in the 1970s, Kemp experienced pain, confusion, and shame as a result of the South’s residual civil rights battles. His elementary school was integrated in 1968, the year Kemp reached third grade; his aunts, uncles, and grandparents held outdated racist views that were typical of the time; his parents, however, believed blacks should be extended the same treatment as whites, but also counseled their children to respect their elder relatives. “I loved the land that surrounded me but hated the history that haunted that land,” Kemp writes. When rock music, specifically southern rock, entered his life, he began to see a new way to identify himself, beyond the legacy of racism and stereotypes of southern small-mindedness that had marked his early childhood. Well into adulthood Kemp struggled with the self-loathing familiar to many white southerners. But the seeds of forgiveness were planted in adolescence when he first heard Duane Allman and Ronnie Van Zant pour their feelings into their songs.

In the tradition of music historians such as Nick Tosches and Peter Guralnick, Kemp masterfully blends into his narrative the stories of southern rock bands –from heavy hitters such as the Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and R.E.M. to influential but less-known groups such as Drive-By Truckers — as well as the personal experiences of their fans. In dozens of interviews, he charts the course of southern rock & roll. Before civil rights, the popular music of the South was a small, often racially integrated world, but after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, black musicians struck out on their own. Their white counterparts were left to their own devices, and thus southern rock was born: a mix of popular southern styles that arose when predominantly white rockers combined rural folk, country, and rockabilly with the blues and jazz of African-American culture. This down-home, flannel-wearing, ass-kicking brand of rock took the nation by storm in the 1970s. The music gave southern kids who emulated these musicians a newfound voice. Kemp and his peers now had something they could be proud of: southern rock united them and gave them a new identity that went beyond outside perceptions of the South as one big racist backwater.

Kemp offers a lyrical, thought-provoking, searingly intimate, and utterly original journey through the South of the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, viewed through the prism of rock & roll. With brilliant insight, he reveals the curative and unifying impact of rock on southerners who came of age under its influence in the chaotic years following desegregation. Dixie Lullaby fairly resonates with redemption.

$17.99 at https://www.amazon.com/Dixie-Lullaby-Story-Music-Beginnings-ebook/dp/B001CB34IG/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1615486182&sr=8-1

The Highs and Lows of Little Five: A History of Little Five Points

Robert Hartle, Jr.

Atlanta’s Little Five Points, the city’s first Neighborhood Commercial District, stands out as one of the most distinctive shopping districts in the Southeast. There have been quite a few ups and downs in the area’s history, but ultimately the dedicated, passionate individuals who made L5P what it is today handled them with perseverance and foresight, creating unique, independently owned stores that draw the most eclectic mix of people found anywhere in Atlanta. The cultural melting pot created by these stores is what makes Little Five Points such a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Join author Robert Hartle Jr. as he tells the story of the revitalization of Little Five Points, including firsthand accounts from longtime L5P business owners who were actually there and who helped to save the area from the many threats to its survival.

$19.99 at https://www.amazon.com/Highs-Lows-Little-Five-History/dp/159629874X

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