The Human Be-In Teach-In

By Steven Palmer

This installation is a part of Then, Now, Next: Oral History for Social Change, OHMA's multimedia interactive popup exhibition of stories, which will take place at the Refectory at Union Theological Seminary on April 29, 2015.

The Human Be-In was an early countercultural happening that took place on January 14, 1967 in Golden Gate Park. It heralded the massive invasion of the Haight Ashbury that culminated in the Summer of Love. This multimedia presentation will include the use of books, posters and audio clips to educate the visitor about the Be-In. Visitors can evaluate whether this hippie gathering was worthy of the mythological place it has achieved in history. Visitors will be able to string beads, make God's Eyes, blow bubbles, browse books, and posters, while listening to history, performances of Be-In speeches, and audio clips of oral histories with people who attended.

Steven Palmer is a native New Yorker and Columbia University employee working as a research clinician in HIV vaccine research as well as providing care for people living with HIV. His lifelong obsession with the counterculture, particularly as it manifested in the San Francisco, has been the focus of Steven’s interviews for over a decade, as well as exploring the interface of the gay and hippie communities at that time. He has spoken to some of the major luminaries of the movement – Stephen Gaskin, Ram Dass, Chet Helms – as well as everyday folks who often felt themselves to be the members of a tribe.

Read more about Then, Now, Next: Oral History and Social Change.