Mad Men Finds Berkeley

Mad Men, swept over a large part of the Civil Rights Movement, maybe they will interject a MLK speech somewhere, or  they may even find an African American character to introduce.

Do you see how “white” America was?  Anyway, since they brought up Berkeley, I think we need to bring back some of the speeches and the fire of the Free Speech Movement.

It started during the 1964-1965 academic year.  The students, led by Mario Savio, Bettina Aptheker, Brian Turner, Steve Weissman, Art Goldberg and Jackie Goldberg, insisted that the University lift the ban on campus political activity.  In addiction they wanted the University to acknowledge the rights of students to Free Speech and academic freedom.

Check it out kids, someone had to fight for those things, no one gave it to us.   All the political and rights movements if not for these students in 1964, would not have existed now.

This speech was on December 2, 1964 where 800 students were arrested after a mass demonstration.

As a result, the Berkeley students now Have Sproul Plaza, the entrance to the campus, where all the political factions have tables with on campus organizations.

Meanwhile, just because Don and his friends did not pay attention, you should not forget that down the street ( or up, or whatever I am not a New Yorker) in Harlem, Malcolm X, broke off from Elijah Mohammed and the Nation of Islam, came back from the pilgrimage to Mecca and was .

He was killed on February 21, 1965, two months after the ending of this episode.  And as you can see, the white community, the majority did not acknowledge the existence of the African American community.

I know I am ruining the fun, but that era was not just cocktails and fun. It was a bubble that was about to burst. But oh, how it burst.

We seem to romanticize this bubble. It was the bubble of the white male paradigm. A bubble that was popped from many angles but still seems to deny its hold on society and the power it still holds.


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