For Teen Activists, What Good Is a Protest Song?
Since the Inauguration, in January, there’s been a kind of protest renaissance for those on the left and some in the center of American politics; at rallies and marches, they’ve dusted off chants and songs that became symbols of resistance during the civil-rights and Vietnam eras. But many of these protesters weren’t alive in the sixties, and the songs of their parents’ or grandparents’ generations may not resonate for them. “Primer for a Failed Superpower” was a concert performance, organized by the theatre company the Team, that mixed classic protest songs with contemporary anthems, all sung by a cast that spanned generational lines from boomers to teens. The New Yorker’s Vinson Cunningham talked to two young performers, Maxwell Vice and Logan Rozos, about how that generational divide played out, and what public protest is worth in the age of social media.