by DorotheeKocks

I remember the feeling of missing it. The older brother of my neighbor friend — he had the right music. We were in 7th grade and listened to The Monkees. (The older brother rolled his eyes). When I did catch up, I listened to Joan Baez. For me, the revolution dovetailed with an earnest — and then literally religious — sense of righting wrongs. I stood in a massive Chicago church, a white girl among hundreds (thousands?) of black voices, singing about God’s justice… about bringing it down here to earth after such a long, long wait.

I turned 13 the year the 60s were over. By then, hippie was a fashion statement.

That's me, on the left

I look back now, having long lost my faith, at the choice I saw then between drugs and the holy spirit. There was a vague story about a classmate who overdosed on heroin. I gave up stealing my parents’ booze at age 14 for holding hands with girls in a prayer circle, speaking in tongues.

We were protesting too. Or I was — clawing out of this world for something grander, truer. Now in 2012, with our president shackled at every limb, the sweet call for change seems impossible. But that union with God is how I, as a late-edition boomer, too was a child of a time — a time when we could be a part of a movement. Movements were everywhere. Take your pick and join in. We were moving, not stalled.

Last week I read that the net worth of the median U.S. black household plummeted by 60% in the last five years — to just $4,955. ( We boomers, for all our genuine ideals — just like the John Adamses of another revolution — we lived within the empire… a juggernaut claiming this land is our land. I loved Ethan Russell’s memoir of that feeling of connectedness we had in those days. How can we solve the riddle between the real, transcendent union of all things and the real, continuing tyranny of the rich and powerful? This is the question that hasn’t changed across the generations — and unites Xers, Yers, and us.

From Dorothee Kocks,




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