Social Movements and Organizations of the 1960s, 70s and 80s

Griot: Dawson Barrett

Photo and Copy Editor: Fran Kaplan


The 1960s saw an upsurge in civil rights and other organizations promoting freedom and equality for blacks and women.

The 1970s brought a backlash against those movements by well-funded and well-placed organizations of the Right seeking more freedom for corporations and a return to traditional roles for women.

In the 1980’s, hip-hop and punk rock music expressed anger at “The Power” through their lyrics instead of through actions to change laws.


Prominent Civil Rights Movement Organizations:


Other 1960s Era Organizations:


1970s “New Right” Organizations:


1980s Hip-hop / Punk Rock Artists:



Dawson Barrett is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  He recently taught a history course on American activism and countercultures in the post-1960s period.





The Birth of CORE

CORE Button

CORE Button

The Congress Of Racial Equality (CORE) was founded on this date in 1942. CORE is an American interracial voluntary organization established by James Farmer to undertake direct-action projects to improve race relations and end discriminatory policies.

Farmer had been working as the race-relations secretary for the Fellowship of Reconciliation, but resigned over a dispute in policy; he founded CORE as a vehicle for the nonviolent approach to combating racial prejudice that was inspired by Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi. CORE members held a sit-in at a coffee shop in Chicago in their founding year; it was one of the first of its kind in the United States. Other CORE projects have included voter registration drives in the South and actions to deal with a wide range of community issues in the North.

Read more about C.O.R.E. here.