Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Greenwich Village, 1961: Folksinging banned in that park

In April 1961, a few hundred young protestors took their placards and guitars to Washington Square in Greenwich Village to protest a new ban on folksinging in that park. In retrospect (and in the 15 minute historical video linked below), it appears as it was -- a sweet, almost heartbreaking portrait of innocence and invincible youth lost. Yet it was the harbinger of a decade of escalating protests to come. Musicians had been playing in Washington Square for at least a generation, but when blacks and "degenerate" folksingers began to come, neighbors complained. The folksingers' protest was ultimately successful.

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