Time Period: 1960s
What was going on at the time:
- Civil rights movement
- Women's rights movement
- Space race
- Music: Motown defined a new generation https://www.motownmuseum.org/story/motown/
- Television informed people about what was going on in the world (they were able to see war coverage, demonstrations, riots, etc) People were also able to see African Americans performing in music, dance, etc.
- Cold War http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/cold-war-history
- Youth Culture was exploding. Young people were expressing their dissatisfaction with their parent's generation and were creating a counter culture which included their own music (rock n roll, motown), dressing differently and acting differently than the previous generation.
In the 1960s, Baltimore, was a port city that was very working class with blue collar workers. Think of a gritty, real, industrial, unattractive city. The city is known for it's neighborhoods of row houses where people would socialize on the stoops (steps leading from sidewalk up to front door).
1956 - Baltimore had the FIRST desegregated high school (both African American and white students attended the school).
1968 - Baltimore race riots. It is believed that backlash from these riots incited the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
2015 - Ferguson unrest involves protests and riots that began the day after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. The unrest sparked a vigorous debate in the United States about the relationship between law enforcement officers and African Americans, the militarization of the police, and the Use of Force Doctrine in Missouri and nationwide. (Wikipedia)
Relevance to Today
Social situations and conversations around race were happening in the 1960's and are still happening today. This story is being told through art in the form of the musical "Hairspray."
Contrasts of the Times (1960s)
- Culture was fast paced and fun YET people were expected to be puritan and respectable.
- AuthorityVS youth
- older generations VS youth
- Counter culture VS mainstream or popular (pop) culture
- Race relations (note: until 1967 it was illegal for African Americans and whites to marry. After 1967, it was still social frowned upon for many years)
What's in a name?
In the 1960s African Americans were called negros or colored.
Toward the end of the 1960s and with the civil rights movement, the use of the term blacks became more common and then African Americans in the 2000s.
- Pop Art: Bright, bold, energetic and graphic
- Through the main character Tracey's point of view. She lives in a bit of a fantasy but she tries to do something that makes sense to her but not mainstream culture.
- 1960s Baltimore (rowhomes, industrial port city)