Join us as we host Marc Stein for a reading of his new book The Stonewall Riots: A Documentary History.
About the Book
June 28, 1969, Greenwich Village: The New York City Police Department, fueled by bigoted liquor licensing practices and an omnipresent backdrop of homophobia and transphobia, raided the Stonewall Inn, a neighborhood gay bar, in the middle of the night. The raid was met with a series of responses that would go down in history as the most galvanizing period in this country’s fight for sexual and gender liberation: a riotous reaction from the bar’s patrons and surrounding community, followed by six days of protests. Across 200 documents, Marc Stein presents a unique record of the lessons and legacies of Stonewall. Drawing from sources that include mainstream, alternative, and LGBTQ media, gay-bar guide listings, state court decisions, political fliers, first-person accounts, song lyrics, and photographs, Stein paints an indelible portrait of this pivotal moment in the LGBT movement. In The Stonewall Riots, Stein does not construct a neatly quilted, streamlined narrative of Greenwich Village, its people, and its protests; instead, he allows multiple truths to find their voices and speak to one another, much like the conversations you’d expect to overhear in your neighborhood bar.
Published on the fiftieth anniversary of the moment the first brick (or shot glass?) was thrown, The Stonewall Riots allows readers to take stock of how LGBTQ life has changed in the US, and how it has stayed the same. It offers campy stories of queer resistance, courageous accounts of movements and protests, powerful narratives of police repression, and lesser-known stories otherwise buried in the historical record, from an account of ball culture in the mid-sixties to a letter by Black Panther Huey P. Newton addressed to his brothers and sisters in the resistance. For anyone committed to political activism and social justice, The Stonewall Riots provides a much-needed resource for renewal and empowerment.
About the Author
Marc Stein is a historian of sexuality, law, politics, and social movements. After sixteen years of teaching at York University in Toronto, he was appointed the Jamie and Phyllis Pasker Professor of History and Constitutional Law at San Francisco State University in 2014. The author of City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves: Lesbian and Gay Philadelphia, 1945-1972 (University of Chicago Press, 2000), Sexual Injustice: Supreme Court Decisions from Griswold to Roe (University of North Carolina Press, 2010), and Rethinking the Gay and Lesbian Movement (Routledge, 2012), he also served as the editor-in-chief of the award-winning three-volume Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America (Scribners, 2003). He has been the recipient of York University’s graduate teaching award, two major research grants by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Ken Dawson Award by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in New York, and the Gregory Sprague and Audre Lorde Prizes by the American Historical Association’s Committee on LGBT History. Stein is the former editor of Gay Community News in Boston, the former chair of the American Historical Association’s Committee on LGBT History, and the former chair of the Organization of American Historians’ Committee on the Status of LGBTQ Historians and Histories.