The Free To Be You and Me Movement


The animated infants who opened a prime time television special in the U.S. 40 years ago were borne of one women's desperation to find something other than the usual princess stuff to read to her young niece. Free to Be You and Me began as the first record in children's entertainment to contain no sex or race stereotypes. It had children across North America singing the praises of the women's movement, diversity and respect. Forty Years on ... Free To Be is considered a turning point and we are tracking it's influence today with a new book about the movement.

The Free To Be You and Me Movement

Forty years ago... that song became an anthem for a generation of children. It's from the album, Free To Be You and Me. It was the idea of actor and activist Marlo Thomas who realized something was missing as she read bedtime stories to her niece.

So Ms. Thomas approached her friends in show business and the book, record and TV show - all called Free to be You and Me - were born.

Now 40 years later... the effects of Free To Be You and Me are likely still being felt. A book has just been released about what became a movement... looking back at its importance ... and relevance to today.

Lori Rotskoff teaches at the Barnard Center for Research on Women. And Laura Lovett is an associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. They editted the new book When We Were Free To Be.

This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath.

Last Word - Free To Be You and Me Parody (Only on Broadcast/Not Online)

We've been talking today about Free To Be You and Me and its influence on a generation. Other influences on that same generation were epidemics of irony and satire. So, on its 40th anniversary, Free To Be You and Me got the parody treatment from some prominent standup comedians and comedy writers. The album is called It's Ok ...To Do Stuff.

For today's Last Word, Canada's Steven Page sings a cut from the album, Be Yourself... Unless. We cleaned it up a little.

Other segment from today's show:

Independent Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti

Deepak Obhrai on opposing the Palestinian Authority's bid

The NFL and Domestic Violence

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