Library offers discussion on change in the 1960s

Courtesy of Map Quest

The era of the tumultuous 1960s and the cultural changes it wrought will be the subject of a free presentation at the Mullica Hill library at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26.

Topics will include varied social movements and changes in the arts.

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“I feel it is important, because the GCLS (Gloucester County Library System) always tries to offer new, educational and interesting programs for the public,” said adult services librarian Rich Weist. “This is something I thought our older patrons especially would be interested in attending.”

Weist said he learned about era’s cultural change at a township workshop. Every year, the GCLS conducts discussions with presenters of some of the programs it offers. Next week’s presenter will be Paul Groom, a historian who specializes in the ’60s era of history. He grew up in Liverpool, England, where dramatic cultural changes similar to American’s were also felt at the time.

The 1960s were marked by major social movements, such as that for Civil Rights; the Vietnam War and its resulting protests; and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert and Martin Luther King Jr. The era also saw the origins of the LGBTQ movement, highlighted by Pride banners now displayed around Mullica Hill. June is Pride month.

“Pride month, which commemorates the Stonewall Uprising in June 1969 that marked a turning point in broad awareness of the fight for gay and lesbian civil rights, has its roots in the battle for those individuals to live openly without hiding their identity to avoid prosecution …” said Sarah Zuba, chair of Harrison Township’s IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity and Equity) Advisory Board.

“Homosexuality subjected individuals to raids, police brutality, imprisonment, loss of employment, housing discrimination, homelessness, and more, all with the blessing of the law,” she added.

While the presentation is free, registration is required on the GCLS website.

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