Were there black hippies?

By | December 1, 2016

While reading through my newsfeed, I saw an article about Black Hippy. This got me thinking about about the hippie movement and how it seemed so few of them were black.

It makes sense though. If you think about how it was back then, America was divided by race. To a much more ridiculous degree than even now. When it’s actually illegal for a black and white person to marry, I think that’s a pretty clear indication of the racial tensions of the time. Contrast that with now, I remember watching Grounded For Life and they had an episode where the main character’s daughter is dating a black guy. This was the early 2000’s and I remember thinking that having this as a premise for an episode seemed extremely archaic. That seems like an issue you would bring up in the 80s or the 70s.

After googling black hippies, the one person that is continually mentioned is Jimi Hendrix. I know a little bit about Jimmy Hendrix because I read this huge biography of his. He never identified as a hippie. In fact, from what I am able to extrapolate, the hippies as a social movement didn’t exist. There was a counterculture movement and some of those people could be considered hippies. But, ultimately, hippies were to the counterculture movement what hipsters are to the trends of today. They’re a convenient label that we use to refer to a certain group of people. Some of the people may even take on that label as a form of identity but, ultimately, it’s just a larger social trend.

Now assuming that hippies were a genuine social group, most likely the only black hippies that you would hear about occurred during the retro-hippie movement of the 1990s. Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz spring to mind from that time. So in conclusion, no, there were no black hippies. They might’ve existed but not to a significant degree.

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