Remembering 'The '60s In Connecticut'

May 9, 2011

Watching the new CPTV documentary "The '60s in Connecticut," I reminded again of the way collective memory shapes and archives traumatic events.

Most of us remember the protest of the Black Panther trial in New Haven, but many of us have sloppily conflated -- at the level of detail -- with the Chicago Seven trial.  Only a small number of us could say with any precision what the trial was about or whether justice was served.   What we may remember is the decision made by Yale University's Kingman Brewster and his staff not to hide the university behind its walls but to open the campus to the protestors arriving from all over the country and indeed to feed and shelter them. Brewster and his staff took an enormous risk by embracing unrest. It seems unlikely that it would be repeated by a college president in this self-protective, liability-obsessed era. Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.