photo used with permission from Georgia State University
This spring, Reese Library presented The Great Speckled Bird, a traveling exhibit of the so-named Atlanta-based alternative newspaper that ran from 1968 to 1976. The Great Speckled Bird was graciously on loan to us from the Georgia State University Library, which houses the paper’s archives. This exhibit offered a glimpse into the tumultuous times of the newspaper’s tenure as seen through Southern eyes. While what immediately comes to mind about the counterculture of the late sixties and seventies may be Woodstock in New York, the Black Panthers based in Oakland, California, or the Stonewall riots in New York City, Georgia and the rest of the South were not immune to the call of social change. Southerners continued to organize around racial oppression, but they also rallied around the antiwar movement, LGBT rights, and feminism, all of which were topics of great importance to The Great Speckled Bird and its audience.
According to the Georgia State University Library,
“The Great Speckled Bird was one of several underground newspapers that appeared in the United States in the 1960s….The Bird, as it was commonly known, stood out among the alternative press for the quality of its writing, its cover art and its coverage of a range of topics—national and local politics, the counterculture, women’s issues, gay liberation, music, and art. The Bird was a new, radical voice from the South.”
If you would like to read The Great Speckled Bird, it is digitally archived and available to the public at Georgia State University’s library’s website.