Human Be-In

Article

January 24, 2022

On January 14, 1967, San Francisco's Golden Gate Park hosted the Human Be-In, a prelude to San Francisco's Summer of Love, which made the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood a symbol of the American counterculture.

Origin

Counterculture

Human Be-In embodied the key ideas of the 1960s counterculture: individual empowerment, cultural and political decentralization, community life, environmentalism, consciousness expansion (with the help of psychedelics), and radical political consciousness. The hippie movement developed out of disaffected student communities at San Francisco State University, City College, and Berkeley, and in San Francisco's poetry and jazz circles, which also combined a search for visceral spontaneity with a rejection of the "middle" class. Allen Ginsberg epitomized the transition between generations of beatniks and hippies.

Protests

Human Be-In takes its name from an accidental remark made by artist Michael Bowen at the Love Show protests. The playful name combined humanist values ​​with a plethora of sit-ins that reformed college and university practices and shattered vestiges of entrenched segregation, beginning with the 1960 lunchtime sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee.

Event

Information about the upcoming event was placed on the cover of the fifth issue of the San-Francisco Oracle as "Gathering of the Tribes". The reason was a new California law banning the use of the psychedelic drug LSD, which went into effect on October 6, 1966. All speakers at the rally were invited by Bowen, the main organizer. These included Timothy Leary in his first San Francisco performance, who set the tone with his famous line "Turn on, tune in, drop out", Richard Alpert (soon to be known as "Ram Dass"), and poets such as Allen Ginsberg, who sang the mantras, Gary Snyder and Michael McClure. Other counterculture gurus included comedian Dick Gregory, Lenore Kandel, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jerry Rubin, and Alan Watts. The music has been featured by a variety of local rock bands including Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Big Brother and th

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