To mark the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, MoAD presents a six-part film series exploring the influence of Black culture on the counter culture of the time. Conjure up sights and sounds from San Francisco's legendary 1967 Summer of Love and invariably it will be of long-haired, pot-smoking young white people dancing to rock music in Golden Gate Park. They were "the hippies" who defined a youth culture and way of life that challenged and shocked the country's established mores.
However what is often unacknowledged is that Black musicians, writers and thinkers in California and beyond helped shape and enrich the cultural developments leading up to the Summer of Love as well as during and immediately afterwards.
AND WHEN I DIE, I WON'T STAY DEAD (Billy Woodberry, 2015, 89 minutes)
In San Francisco, the "Beatniks" were a forerunner to the "hippies". One of the people sometimes included in Beat anthologies is the poet Bob Kaufman who Amiri Baraka considered a "maximum Beatnik". Despite that fact that there is a small street named after him in the North Beach neighborhood where he lived, he is not as well-known as his contemporaries.
Kaufman was a marginalized and enigmatic character (including his reported multicultural origins) whose non-conformist verse, approach to his work and lifestyle marked him as a rebel. His poems are at the center of this film made by one of the key figures in the "L.A. Rebellion" of Black Filmmakers, Billy Woodberry, who will present and discuss his film.
This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org