#26 – Paris Live 1969 by Ritchie Havens

As Los Angeles goes under curfew for a second night of demonstrations, I decided to listen to some Ritchie Havens, who was probably the first activist/musician that I was exposed to.  I remember seeing footage of him from Woodstock when I was young and was blown away by how one man with an acoustic guitar could create such an intense atmosphere among so many people.  The anguish and righteous anger of that performance are as poignant today as they ever were, as the same issues face our nation now.  The intervening years between Woodstock and now have not seen as many of the ideals of the ‘60s civil rights movement lead to meaningful change for society as we would like, and this is a tremendous failure on America’s part.  It’s time for everyone to think about what kind of a country we want to leave to our children.  I’m hopeful that this will all lead to some lasting progress. Hopeful, but not optimistic.

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