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:
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP): Founded in 1909, the NAACP planned protests and lobbied politicians. Most famously, the group pursued lawsuits that challenged the Jim Crow system.
Congress on Racial Equality (CORE): Founded in 1942, CORE specialized in disruptive protests, such as sit-ins and pickets. They provided the foundation for much of the activism of the 1960s.
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC): Founded in 1957 by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ella Baker, the SCLC coordinated protests and boycotts among religious leaders and their congregations.
Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC): Founded in 1960, SNCC helped organize young activists involved in sit-ins and other disruptive actions. They became the inspiration for other student groups, like Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).
Black Panther Party (BPP): Founded in 1966, the Black Panther Party fought against police brutality and started a free breakfast program for children.
Other 1960s Era Organizations:
Berkeley Free Speech Movement
Combahee River Collective
National Organization for Women (NOW)
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
Vietnam Veterans Against the War
Vietnam Moratorium Committee
Women Strike for Peace
1970s “New Right” Organizations:
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
1980s Hip-hop / Punk Rock Artists:
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
Dawson Barrettis 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.