In the 60s, the equality of all was commended. They thought that everybody had to have a place in the society.



We can notice today an evolution of the place of Black people in the society, particularly in America where discrimination was a very big problem. For example, the segregation which was legalized during the hippie's peak, has today disappeared. An other example is the creation of a law in 1965, called Voting Rights Act, it permitted black people to vote free, like white people did it. Since this date, the things changed considerably, indeed today black people are most integrated in the society, the election of Barack Obama as the President of the USA shows this evolution. The hippies thought that Black people should have the same rights as the Whites. They supported, for example, Shirley Chisholm, who was the first American-African woman elected to Congress. So there were a change of the place of black people in the society, particularly in the 60's. This is why, we think that hippies contributed to this evolution and that without them things would not have changed as soon as they did.

A poster on the shop window of a store.

Shirley Chishlom, the first African-American elected to Congress.

Barack Obama, the first black president of USA, elected in 2008.


More over, in the 60s, lots of feminist movements were appeared. In September 1968, there were a demonstration for the rights of women in Chicago, this one formed a group, the Radical Women. They protested the image of Miss America, an image that oppressed women in every area. This organization was created by people whose some were hippies, for example Susan Stern who launched Radical Women. This movement permitted to change the mentalities of people about the women by lots of actions like demonstrations, so hippies belonged these movement too.

The hippies were stand by women, indeed women were stark naked because it was a part of their life style and felt good like this. The men, by solidarity anti-sexist, were also stark naked. Thus hippies permitted women to assert themselves and their body. The hippie's legacy for the women is the appearance of bikini and mini-skirt.

The hippies changed the society's view of the women. Following these, numerous laws are created, like the equal Pay Act which making illegal employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job. Even if today, the application of these is contestable, it permitted to change status of women's job.

Therefore, the hippies gave us an important legacy about the liberation of the women. We can also notice that there is a real difference between the place of the woman in the society today and in the 60's.

A bare hippie woman during the festival Woodstock.


The symbol of the Radical Women.



However it's not the only one field where hippies gave us an heritage. At the end of the 60's, in the United States, numerous groups were created to defend the rights of the homosexuals, like «Gay and Lesbian studies» which was an association established in the universities. «Gay Liberation Front» is an other example these groups, it was created after the Stonewall riots where gays and police officers confronted each other. The first confrontation was in a sort of hippie bar, the Stonewall Inn, and hippies participated to the riots. This conflict was considered as the beginning of the demand of the equality rights of the homosexuals. After, lots of demonstrations took place, and most were led by hippies, like Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, themselves were homosexuals.

Since the 80's, laws against the homosexuals were disappear, indeed homosexual were decriminalized in 1982. Also, the classification of the gays as mentally ill person was abolished by the World Health Organization.

Gilbert Baker who was inspired by the hippie’s values, like sex, life, curing, pride, sun, serenity, art, harmony or mind, created the flag in rainbow, one of the most important symbols of the homosexual community, in the end of the 70.


Hippies manifestations against gay discrimation.


Antinwar rally in Bryant Park, NYC 1970.

So today, the place of homosexual in the society is not the same as in the 60's, so we can think that all the actions of the hippies had a impact on this and that hippies gave us an important legacy about the integration of homosexuals in the American society.



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