Black Hippies and White Hippies
“Hippies” were a youth movement that first emerged within the United States during the mid-1960s. They were famous because of their lengthy hair, colourful clothes, and enthusiasm for life and freedom. Hippies are also often referred to as flower children and free spirits, bohemians, and indigo kids. While enjoying music like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, the hippies preached peace, freedom and Love over all things. But what about hippies from the Afro-Americal races? Who were some of the famous black hippies?
The culture is still prevalent today, and their fashion is still in use throughout these decades. People from all over the globe identify themselves as hippies of the present. Are you one? Several indications suggest that you might be a hippie in our contemporary times, as there’s more to it than the power of flowers and jeans flares.
History of Black Hippies
It’s the late 1960s when the movement known as hippies was at its peak. Men and women arrived in hordes from all over American suburbs to the middle of the action Haight-Ashbury, San Fransisco. The young people were sexually liberated and narcotics-addicted. White youngsters had an ideal of Love, peace, and a stance against the Government. They protested against the Vietnam War and cared about and helped the poor while creating strong rock anthems and notable psychedelic works.
The idea that many people could come together as a large protest for peace, Love, and resistance to Government and more focused on the people was fantastic. But there was one thing I was missing, and that was color. What exactly do I mean by color? I’m talking about those of the color spectrum, black hippies and indigenous people. Where were the people of color during the hippie movement in the 1960s?
Of course, we are all aware of the greatest hippie from the black community, Jimi Hendrix. He was the model for black hippies at the time and for generations to follow. With his psychedelic mix of soul, funk, and rock, he was the model for black rockers that came after him. In addition, his guitar playing was indeed out of the norm and is still regarded today as the best rock guitar player ever! Of course, you also had his stunning bohemian look that was evident in his hair and clothes. But of course, Jimi did not consider himself a hippie since the word is a counterculture term. It was just as other terms such as grunge or hipster was an umbrella term that people of the mainstream could use to describe the movement that was taking place.
Some other prominent black hippies were Yoko Ono, who got married to John Lennon and caused the Beatles’ breakup. However, there were many other people of ethnicity who were hippies. Have I always been curious about the reason?
What is the reason why Black hippies are not typical?
Black people make up just 13 per cent of people in the American population. It means there’s not going to be many of them participating in any massive movement. It’s easy to forget about the black community, particularly if you don’t think that the movement is associated with people of color in the first place.
In particular, there were black hippies. However, when hippies were in the spotlight and the fight for equality was on. A majority of blacks involved in political activities were concerned about their communities. During the Civil Rights Movement, one of the major concerns was being seen negatively but looking equally worthy of respect as whites. In the photos of civil rights marches, the males typically wear suits, while the women are dressed in fancy clothes. The message was, “We’re middle America, just like you!” It was also prominent that white hippies had resources and money from the beginning. Black people were not that lucky.
The majority of American hippies are white because black hippies, while many, were the minority. There were lots of black hippies on the headlines during the time of the hippies.
Were the ideologies of Black hippies the same as White hippies?
Like white hippies, they were free-thinking young people against their country’s involvement in the Vietnam war. They refused to trust the older generation or those in the “establishment” to make decisions that impacted them. They made their own decisions regarding their reckless lifestyle and wore clothes in “hippie” style. They were not lazy. We were all swamped.
We didn’t wish to be employed in jobs that help the game’s status in the mainstream world. Take a look at any magazine or film from the time, and you’ll find many black hippies too.
One of the reasons was the vast racial and cultural gap between white and black people. The majority of blacks were too involved with the Civil Rights Movement to engage in any other countercultures.
The Mexican-Americans had been through the same civil rights struggle during the Chicano Movement. The indigenous tribes of America had initiated their own American Indian Movement. These groups didn’t have the time to relax, do drugs or listen to good music while fighting for their rights as human beings in the United States.
In the wake of this cultural and racial clashing at the height, there was the Hippie Movement. Also, after the demise of Jimi Hendrix, the movement was largely undiscovered for a time until the mid – to late-’80s.
Between the hippie movement of the 1960s and the Neo-hippie movement of the 1980s was Bob Marley. Bob Marley, although not a hippie, and wouldn’t be able to claim that title. However, he did propagate many of the hippie values that many hippies were born throughout the world. He spoke of One Love, and Every Little Thing was Going to be Okay. However, he had a more profound message to his black fans about fighting back against man and recollecting our origins.
Two kids from 8 and 9 would come out and bring the hippie spirit back to the mainstream in the latter half of the 1980s. Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet were the hippie movement’s mainstays gaining momentum with their love and peace attitude to the world. With his locks and stunning looks, Lenny Kravitz, along with Lisa Bonet with her star-studded Cosby Show fame, were the perfect hippie couple of the time and have been since long after their split.
The difference in Financial Status
The majority of people we consider in the term “hippies” were/are middle class. They could afford the time and resources for the pleasures of “exploring alternative lifestyles and spiritualities”. In contrast to the average African American in the 1960s was likely already trying hard to survive. And making ends meet to be involved in the whole thing.
However, hippiedom could have originated from Africa, at the very least in part. In his autobiography of 1964, Malcolm X wrote that the phrase “hippie” had been used in Harlem in the 1940s to denote the white population who “acted more Negro than the Negroes did.”
For a long time, white people with a “bohemian” persuasion were drawn to jazz from Africa blues, rhythm’n’blues. They may have thought this meant “radical” and “rebellious” in segregated, conservative America. They were often referred to as beatniks. The majority of people believe that hippies came from them.