Before the hippies there lived a generation of young people in the U.S. who were the real beginning of non- conformity; they were called Beatniks. They dressed in black, wore berets and sandals for the most part and called coffee houses in America their meeting place.
It is impossible to talk about the "beat" generation in 500 words or less, but I am sure you can find lots of reads if you choose to look.
I could clearly not even begin to give this generation fair say in this read, but one thing is for sure, up until recently, there seemed to always be a generation that fought for a cause. A generation that made a difference in the world of the day. Sure we catch little hints of the older generation's ideals here and there and of the current generation's concerns and awareness about global warming and going green.
They are quiet; seemingly nothing like the generations before, but maybe a powerful generation will visit again, perhaps once they come up for air and look away from their cell phones, Facebooks, handheld games and whatever other weapons of mass distraction-maybe they will pay attention and realize we are ready for another change.... Until then, we shall remember the beatniks and hippies and remember them as cultures that not only wanted change but created it.