Hugh Holmes Norton,
Eleanor Katz, Elliott Macis,
Mary Sue Valenti,
INT: Is there a sense that the Free Speech Movement also derived a lot of its support by the fact that you were not treated as young adults but you were treated as children just in terms of the way that the Universities kept segregated dormitories, it was highly regulated. The idea that in fact you were not treated as mature adults but wayward children.
FRANK: There was some of that, there was some of that. I think that's like a more traditional in local parentes I think it was like the, was the idea, the traditional academic idea of it be, Universities in place of the parents takes the place of the parents in relationship to the young people, and that was fine to a certain extent but you know this is Berkeley in the early 1960's and I mean there is no in local parentes, I mean, there we are, there is our culturally, I mean it is not hard for young men and young women to get together., there is a lot, a tremendous amount of marijuana around, there is music is blasting, I mean there, I, I, that was kind of beyond the University's control., young people were belong the University's control at that time., the fight that came out was not so much that they wanted to be our parents but that they wanted to process, process us into sort of the military industrial business complex., there was a, I am not a IBM card, I'm not a number I'm a person, there was this, the, the, at the, you know if you compare the extent to which that cultural development now dominates, I mean it was actually just a very beginning of that kind of computerization of the World, but, but the Berkeley students were pissed off about that, they did not want to be, I am not, do not bend or spindle me is what people said because that's what it said on the, on the, cards on, on, on your personal computer card that you got which identified you. So there was, again that's a cultural, there was like, that's, that's the, the, that's protest against the bougie world which I think is a real big part of the New Left.
INT: This is a time of course when people like Joan Baez, Phil Oaks, on the campus you had The Beatles, you had this explosion in the mid sixties onwards of music. Does that feed into cultural, political methods of protest that you were familiar with.
FRANK: Oh sure, absolutely, I mean you know, that all the demonstrations were, had singing of some sort, there were always people with guitars and folk songs, and there was always folk songs, there was folk songs from the beginning,, the folk songs mean, there were folk songs throughout the fifties, folk songs were kept alive. I mean, even though the Weavers I mean were big ... Some of them went to jail I believe, they certainly were, their records were banned and taken off the air, but there still there was an, there was a folk song underground throughout the fifties. The big thing of course that happens in the sixties is that the leading, the leading folk singer of our generation goes electric, Bob Dylan, goes in a different direction, and that was a, that was a significant change, there were some folks who felt that he was betraying a cultural tradition and there were other folks who believed that that no that this was like a new path of liberation and eventually that difference, you can see that difference becomes fairly important to people, so that at the beginning of the sixties, at the beginning of the sixties we have the cultural and political rebellion as I have been trying to argue here is like tied together., by the end of the sixties it's in two, two maybe parallel but distinct different paths and so that there's the cultural rebellion which is centered not in Berkeley but in the hate Ashbury which has to do with drugs and rock and roll and which is a true rebellion, a cultural rebellion and there is a political rebellion which remains in Berkeley which has to do with the war, the war in Vietnam and the continuing black power movement support of farm worker movement and they're, they're somewhat opposed, not somewhat they're clearly opposed and that's a, that's a development that comes later in the sixties.
INT: Someone like Joan Baez for example who we are kind of interested in. How important is she.
FRANK: Well I think she is very important. She is like in that period of the, of the folks where it is still basically the music of the movement is still folk singing and there's not this later this later diversion. I mean she's very important, she sings before the massive sit-in in Sprow Hall in December, on December 2nd I believe it was 1964, she sings at the giant rally before everybody goes into the hall to be, to be, to sit down and be arrested and that's, that was perfectly appropriate just absolutely perfectly appropriate because she was part of that. Now if I'm not mistaken I don't know Joan Baez's own personal history but I believe that she comes from a Left tradition herself I think, I, I'm pretty sure that her father was a, a Professor, a Left, a Left Professor and that that she grows up like you know on sort of the, the sort of Left tradition of folk singing, on Woody Guthrie and stuff like that, so that she is a bridge, a cultural bridge to the past and at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, the beginning also of the Anti War Movement, her singing and songs, she is present at all the rallies and she and she makes a contribution, certainly a cultural contribution to the, to the early new Left and to the early Civil Rights Movement. Now, subsequent, and also she is very important in the farm worker movement, she was a big supporter of the farm worker movement. Now, you know, somewhere like in the mid sixties maybe late sixties I'm not, I'm not sure if anybody's interested in this, but if you are really interested in Joan Baez some, sometime in the mid to late sixties, by 1967 Joan Baez is a committed pacifist, a very, very strong pacifist, and is very disturbed by some of the violence in, in the African American Movement and some of the violence in the Anti War Movement and she actually takes a, an active role in arguing pacifism to these movements so that like in Stop the Draft Week which we had scheduled from Tuesday to Friday the and in which we explicitly said we were going to shut down the induction center and we were going to do anything necessary to shut down the induction center so for that week in 1967 there would be nobody inducted into the Army in Aukland and we, we did weren't explicit about how we were going to do that, we were really hoping for a riot in front of the induction, a week long riot in front of the induction center., Joan Baez is part of a demonstration on a Monday of that week in front of the induction center which is an explicitly pacifist demonstration, where people do the traditional thing of like sitting in the doorsteps politely waiting to be arrested and then being arrested and taken away and then they open the doors and bring people in, and that, that was intended to be a rebuke to what was going to follow., so that like by the mid sixties, by the late sixties, she represents a particular political line amidst a whole bunch of different political lines, so it's, so she doesn't play the same role as she does in the early sixties where she's actually a bridge to an earlier Left culture. That's part of the reason she became so involved in United Farm Workers Movement is because the United Farm Workers Movement was explicitly none violent and so was she.
INT: I am going to take you back a bit, back to your active involvement in the Civil Rights and then we'll lead onto how you got into.
INT: How did you get involved in the Civil Rights Movement and how was your involvement worked out.
FRANK: Well, I was at college in the East and very unhappy at college in the East. It was, it was, it was, I went, I went to college in the Fall of '59 so it was still the fifties and it was way more the fifties in the East that was the fifties in California where I grew up, I mean where I went to college you had to wear a coat and tie there to eat in the Freshman dorm and I came from Lemon Grove, I didn't, I, the only coat and tie I had was the one that I graduated High School in and I didn't take it to college with me. So, I was pretty damn unhappy in this elite Eastern School and so when the Civil Rights Movement broke out, it broke out that Spring, when the students in, in, in South Carolina and throughout the South started trying to integrate public places and ... the down town communities the lunch counters were there, were sort of one of the first points of attack, the Woolworth lunch counters. So, I was bored and unhappy and at Harvard and when the Civil Rights Movement broke out I was really taken with it, really attracted to it, it seemed like something different happening and so a picket line was started in Boston where we picketed the Woolworth's Stores in support of the students in the South who were saying that black people ought to be able to eat lunch at the, at the counters in the Woolworth Stores and, as a matter of fact it was on that picket line, it was on that picket line at Woolworth's in Boston that I saw this picture on the front page of a Boston paper of the students being washed down the steps at the Hewlack Demonstration because that was also in the Spring of 1960 in Berkeley and I thought wow they look like they're having fun you know, and I wasn't having that much fun and when I eventually got kicked out of Harvard that's why, that was, I went to Berkeley explicitly because of the Hewlack Demonstration and the reaction to the Hewlack Demonstration, in any case in the Spring of, Spring, Spring break in 1960 a friend of mine and I from, from, he, he went to Brandice and I went to, to Harvard, we raised some money, represented the, the picketing that was being done at Woolworth's and we got in the car and we drove South and I spent, I barely got back up to school before school ended and because he and I sort of traveled throughout the South from we actually went from Negro College to Negro College because the Negro Colleges were the center of the Movement and we had, we were bringing support from, you know verbal support from, from, from the, from Boston and also support from fellow students and also some money, we had some money that we took and we gave it to the, to Snick, and I remember I was already like I said before, my interest was mostly like cultural I felt this, I didn't feel this real strong political impulse but I felt this cultural impulse and what attracted to me about the, the Civil Rights Movement was like it seemed like a cultural break in the Country but I remember really distinctly when we went from these Negro College to Negro College my buddy and I very often we would address large numbers of people at these colleges and I remember, I think it was in Greensboro there was like a gymnasium filled with people and, and I was seventeen, no I was eighteen years old and they were really happy to hear that they were being supported by these picket lines in the Bay area, they understood like the significance of it and there was just, we were greeted with a roars from the crowd, people were happy to hear what we had to say and I remember one time thinking during one of these speeches wow this is unlike anything I've ever done before in my life and I, you know, I always, I never really was one for like being getting deeply involved in other folks' struggles, so I wasn't one of the people who went to the South but I took that that enthusiasm for struggle that I saw there and brought it back to the student movement, and I was just like one of many, many, many, ma