Essay On The Beatnik Riot

analytical Essay
815 words
815 words

In 1961, previous to the outbreak of Occupy Wall Streets of Greenwich Village’s Washington Square Park was filled with three–thousand young beatnik protestors. Playing instruments and singing folk music symbolized the starvation that these young folks wanted of freedom and equality for America. Protestors demonstrated mixed cultures, individualistic beliefs that went against the status quo of America after the post-war years. The Beatnik Riot involved young traditional Americans fighting not just for the musical crisis of that time, but for the social, racial, and cultural segregations that were brought on by the years of war.
Acting as a catalytic reaction, the Beatnik Riot put in motion for a new modernized America. Greenwich Village’s Washington Square Park in Manhattan, New York was previously occupied by young protestors driven by anti-war and racial aspects. “In the spring of 1961, the Washington Square Association, a community group of homeowners around the square, appealed to New York City’s Department of Parks and Recreation to do something about the hundreds of ‘roving troubadours and their followers’ playing music around the square’s turned off fountain on Sunday afternoons “ (Straughsbaugh 1). “The parks commission began issuing permits to limit the number of musicians, allowing them to ‘sing and play from two until five as long as they had no drums,’ Van Ronk writes” ( Straughsbaugh 1). Permitting the number of musicians provoked the traditionalist to become active protestors. The community around the square complained about the ruckus caused by these hippies, racial mixture, cultured young folks. In Greenwich Village an old historical dilemma was of the racial ideas having this heritage people were not in favor of t...

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...imon 3).
Izzy Young was the organizer of the riot and the supervisor of Folklore Center. “In 1961, Izzy Young was running the Folklore Center on MacDougal Street. At the time it was the heart of the Greenwich Village folk scene” (51st 2). “Young was the guy who had applied for the permit to sing in Washington Square. And when it was rejected, he helped organize the protest” (Simon 2). Izzy attempted to construct a peaceful demonstration asking people’s right to sing.
The Beatnik Riot of 1961 characterized the young Americans of the United States that were fighting for their rights. The young radicals rebelled against the milquetoast population of America during this time. The riot conveyed that the beats were not only fighting for their right to sing, but for equality of sex and race. The Beatnik Riot started a domino effect of protests across the United States.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes how the beatnik riot involved young traditional americans fighting for the social, racial, and cultural segregations brought on by the years of war.
  • Analyzes how the beatnik riot catalyzed a new modernized america in greenwich village, new york.
  • Explains that beatniks were not in the favorable hand of the american people. they rejected mainstream values and lived a spontaneous, free-wheeling life.
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