Did You Watch The Boomer List?

“Always have old memories and young hopes.”

fortune cookie--old memories

I was so excited to watch The Boomer List on American Masters last week. A series of video interviews by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, it highlights some iconic figures from the baby boomer generation. (Greenfield-Sanders has also done other films, like “The Black List,” “The Latino List,” and “The Out List.”)

As a geriatric social worker, I was taught to look for trends in cohorts. People who’ve experienced the same major events might behave in similar ways. A few major experiences baby boomers went through were the JFK assassination (by the way, King’s 11/22/63 book is excellent), the Vietnam War, the AIDS epidemic, and the feminist movement.

Here are some other facts about baby boomers:

  • Born between 1946 and 1964
  • Wealthier, more active generation than previous eras
  • First generation to grow up with television
  • Most common baby boomer names are James and Mary
  • California has largest grouping in one state

Of course, one of my favorite authors, Amy Tan, was interviewed on the film. What struck me was her portrait of her mom. Tan’s father died while she was young, but her mother strove on. Even though Tan’s mother was traditional, Tan considered her “very modern.” Her mother said that Tan was not just equal to a man but “better than a man.” Those are some strong words.

I think Tan’s productivity stems from her childhood encouragement. In fact, a lot of Boomers are important leaders. They’re innovators in their various and diverse fields. They were go-getters from early on–and they’re not stopping any time soon.

Did you watch The Boomer List? What’s your take on this generation?

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  1. I did not watch the Boomer List and find your post interesting. This is a true fact that many leaders and innovators are baby boomers. It is also true that a much younger generation is leading with the innovative ways we communicate now. Good informative post, Jennifer.

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      Thanks, Evelyne. I think every generation produces entrepreneurs. It’s kind of ingrained in the U.S. culture to innovate.

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