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Perspective: The year one world ended and another began

Original artwork by Greg Maupin
Additional images from Pixlr

1971. The year I graduated from high school was a time of high idealism, questioning and great upheaval. Hundreds of thousands of Americans were in the streets advocating for peace and an end to the Vietnam War, pushing forward for civil rights and individual rights for African Americans, Native Americans, and women.

It was the end of the 60s. One world was ending, and another was beginning.

In 1971 music changed everything. The many musicians of the time were icons. They were creating culture on both sides of the ocean.

“What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye topped the charts. Echoing the minds of youth looking for answers.

And the music coming out of our Panasonics mirrored the world we lived in. The lyrics gave us language to articulate our pain at seeing so many of our peers killed. The questioning, naming, truth telling and soul searching became ours. Protest songs topped the charts. It was more than just rebellion it was people trying to build an ideal world and their efforts were fueled and guided by the music of the day.

When we grieve the loss of David Crosby or others of the 60s and 70s we are also grieving the loss of the music that helped us “who are on the road” form “a code” we could live by.

I’m Dan Kenney and this is my perspective.

Dan Kenney is a retired elementary school teacher and the founder of DeKalb County Community Gardens. He's also a published poet and writer.