By Anthony Ashbolt
The San Francisco Bay sector used to be a gathering element for radical politics and counterculture within the Nineteen Sixties. in the past there was little knowing of what made political tradition the following particular. This paintings explores the improvement of a neighborhood tradition of radicalism within the Bay region, one who underpinned either political protest and the counterculture.
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Additional resources for A Cultural History of the Radical Sixties in the San Francisco Bay Area
The Bay Area’s radical tradition provided an essential framework for activists there, giving them a particular identity. Moreover, a powerful sense of place helped shape their political and cultural perspectives. The Bay Area constituted a critical venue for political and cultural dissent throughout the 1960s. San Francisco and Berkeley, in particular, pointed the way forward, signalled potentialities and drew many radicals from other regions into their orbits. Along the way, a cultural and political tendency, borne of the politics of space, marked out the Bay Area as different and injected radicalism there with a strong regional flavour.
In short, the radical yearning for community in the 1960s occurred under conditions which increasingly lessened the very possibility of community. Romantic longings of one sort or another (think just of the pastoral sympathies of hippies) permeated Sixties discourse. 59 The connections between politics and culture Go West! 35 can, indeed, be fascinating. This is demonstrated clearly by the public projects involving manual labour and art under Franklin Roosevelt. Many artists were employed by the New Deal administration in the 1930s and among their most memorable works in San Francisco are the murals in Coit Tower.
58 The work was made easier but automation atomized longshoremen and helped undermine their working community. Because of limitations in San Francisco’s waterfront, longshore operations were mostly shifted to Oakland when the new technology was being introduced. A once vibrant neighbourhood was slowly dismantled, leaving in its stead the plastic trappings of commercialism Fisherman’s Wharf style. The withering away of such traditional working-class communities is one part of an important historical backdrop to the New Left’s search for community.