Malang lecture focuses on change in the US


There is no end to discussions about changes. The United States of America, as a big multicultural country, has gone through changes in many ways.

This was the very word that led young people to throw their support behind newly elected President Barrack Obama.

In his latest book America Dreaming, author Laban Hill shows how the recent election was not the first time young people changed the face of America, since this had also happened way back in the sixties.

Hill, who has written around 25 titles and many articles on fiction, poetry, history and others, visited Malang University on Oct. 6, to give a guest lecture on the changes in America.

During the 90-minute session organized by the unversity’s school of English in cooperation with the US Embassy, Hill approached the topic from a different angle to the mass media, which has often focussed on changes in the 1960s related to sex, drugs and music.

Instead, he focused on gender and racial equality, as well as environmental sustainability.

It was during that time, the pursuit of equality in gender was raised above the surface, Hill said. Working women protested about discrimination at work.

At the time, women were paid less than men doing the same job or in the same position. According to data collected by Hill, at that time women received half as much as men.

Nowadays, he said, payments have increased about US$1 for men and 76 US cents for women in comparison.

It was also in that decade when African American and other ethnicities living in the US made a movement to protest ethnic discrimination.

At that time there was a segregation of rights at public facilities such as in schools, on buses, in restaurants and in politics.

This long and sometimes painful movement resulted in the eventual election of Obama, an African American. He couldn’t have become the president of the US if there was no sixties movement, Hill said.

The green revolution also began in the decade when American people realized they should save the Earth.

They reduced, reused and recycled, and had thought at all about electric-powered cars which produced no air pollution. Companies also took part to reduce pollution they made in manufacturing.

In the discussion held after the lecture, most of audience asked Hill about American lifestyle.

The discussions were interesting and fun because of Hill’s witty answers. At the end of the lecture, Hill received a surprise batik gift from the organizer.

Ferril Irham M
Student of State University of Malang, East Java

Post Author: ferril