Human Be-In

Article

January 19, 2022

The Human Be-In was a happening that took place on the afternoon and evening of January 14, 1967 in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. It marked the beginning of the "Summer of Love". The Human Be-In focused on the ideas of the hippie movement of the 1960s: individualism, cultural and political decentralization, communal living, environmental awareness and the expansion of consciousness. The term Human Be-In comes from Beat Generation artist and co-founder of the San Francisco Oracle Michael Bowen; the accidental designation combined humanistic values ​​with the large number of sit-ins that transformed college and university practices, eradicating the last traces of entrenched racial segregation. The Human Be-In was announced on the front page of the San Francisco Oracle as "A Gathering of the Tribes for a Human Be-In," published in the fifth issue of February 1967. Speakers at the rally included Timothy Leary, who wrote the motto of the afternoon with his famous line "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out" and Richard Alpert (later better known as Ram Dass). But poets like Allen Ginsberg, who chanted mantras, and Gary Snyder also took part. Other famous participants were Dick Gregory, Leonore Kandel and Jerry Rubin. The Hells Angels were also represented. Local rock bands like the Grateful Dead or Quicksilver Messenger Service provided the music. There is still conflicting information about the number of visitors, but it is assumed that there were 20,000 to 30,000 people. Nevertheless, the impact of the Human Be-In was great: The hippie movement that featured at Human Be-In encouraged people to challenge authority on civil rights, women's rights, and consumer rights. In addition, alternative media were created and new paths were taken in music and art; technologically, this eventually led to the Digital Be-Ins in the 1990s.

Web Links

Neville Powis, 'The Human Be-In and the hippy revolution.' Capsule description. Allen Cohen's website, with history from an insider. Haight-Ashbury in the 1960s 'Rockument' commentary and sound bites.

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