Date of this Version
Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, Vol. I, pp 93-101.
From 1967 to 1971, Kaleidoscope shared new and revolutionary ideas, challenged its readers, and created an important venue for intramovement dialogue. Beginning as an outlet for Milwaukee’s burgeoning counterculture and evolving into an important part of the mass movement, Kaleidoscope’s willingness to honestly interrogate the issues facing the community it served meant that it was an arena for tensions to be resolved. That Kaleidoscope, unlike many of the underground papers of the era, never transformed into an unofficial party organ for the New Left allowed it to be uniquely critical of the politics of the mass movement while at the same time articulating its aims. The close study of Kaleidoscope offers many insights into the various components of the movement: the hippies, the Yippies, the New Left, the Black Panthers, and, importantly, Gay Liberation and Women’s Liberation.
It is wholly unfortunate that Kaleidoscope hasn’t been afforded the same attention as other, more prominent underground papers. Further study of the paper and those men and women who ran the mimeograph, wrote articles, stood on street corners selling the paper, and fought for the paper’s very right to exist, would no doubt be fruitful. Such study would allow us to examine not only the ways that the paper could be used to exemplify a movement, but how it was truly unique as well.