1960s Research for the Great Wall of LA
1960s Working Narrative: The Great Wall of Los Angeles
The first segment of the Great Wall (Roughly the scale of Rosie the Riveter in Suburbia) is devoted to defining the sixties generation as the “generation on fire”. A group of young people of all ethnicities and styles some longhaired some clean cut are linked in a sit-in. They are large and frontal, visible to the waist and all deeply reverent and committed, innocents. They carry a fire in their chests that weaves in and out of them contained i their bodies. The fire is gentle flames but fierce also. The last of the chain of students (nearest the bus) are hit by water hoses from Atlanta, creating a blending of “fire and water” oppositional currents with the firemen visible in the foreground. The water is a torrent and painful. The fire ends in a burning bus that is from the Freedom Riders arriving in Los Angeles. The sky is filled with black crows coming out of the smoke from the burning bus toward the foreground growing larger and following the ring of students diminishing in the background. They are reminiscent of the movie BIRDS: A MURDER OF CROWS. Perhaps in the background are three figures from the movie BIRDS as a subtle reference to the movie’s terrifying moment when birds chase the people and attack. Do some of the crows attack?
The narrative continues inside a Woolworth’s diner with the Greensboro 4 seated. They are being taunted and coffee is poured on them and the rednecks are jeering hatefully. They are calm, resolute and dignified in response. The lunch counter continues to a pinpoint in one point perspective signifying the thousands of people that participated in the sit-ins across the country particularly throughout the South.
Martin Luther King speaks in a n animated preacher fashion. He is speaking not only the “I have a dream” speech, but also the “Is America going to Hell” speech he never delivered because of his assassination. He addressed Militarism, Civil Rights, and Poverty. He is veering down a territory that will precipitate his assassinations.