The Sixties

Satisfactory Essays
"The Sixties"

Freedom has been discussed and debated for a while now and yet no one can completely agree that it exists. Since the Civil, War America has been conditioned to be divided politically. The conflict over the meaning of freedom continues to exist from the civil war, throughout the sixties and in the present. The Civil War was fought over the question of what freedom means in America. The issue was in the open for all to see: slavery. Human slavery was the shameless face of the idea of freedom. The cultural war in the sixties was once more about the question of what freedom is and what it means to Americans. No slaves. Instead, in the sixties and seventies four main issues dominated the struggle for racial equality: opposition to discriminatory immigration controls; the fight against racist attacks; the struggle for equality in the workplace; and, most explosively, the issue of police brutality. For more than two centuries, Americans demanded successive expansions of freedom; progressive freedom. Americans wanted freedom that grants expansions of voting rights, civil rights, education, public health, scientific knowledge and protections from fear.

HOST: Today, in our studio we have three famous personalities of the sixties. We will be asking about their experiences and how they saw America change in their lifetime. This will give us three different perspectives of struggle during the sixties, and how their definition of freedom differs from each other. First we have one of the most visible advocates of nonviolence and direct action as methods of social change, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

HOST: Dr. King, Welcome to the talk show.

Dr. KING: Thanks for having me. It's a pleasure.

HOST: Dr King, tell us how did you get the world to see the struggle of black America?

Dr. KING: "My goal was to draw on traditional American values and deep traditional Christian values in the cause of civil rights and to use the mass media. I knew that television was now putting daily events right into people's living rooms every single day, and if I could shape the way the black movement was presented it would have a powerful effect on public opinion. I used television, in effect, to force white America to think, to face up to what it really wanted the country to be. I knew that Americans are not willing to stand by with all this injustice existing?
Get Access