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Dis-membering Stonewall

 
LGBTQ mainstream White-washes people of color out of historical 1969 rebellion
 

“By institutionalizing memory, resisting the onset of oblivion, recalling the memory of tragedy that for long years remained hidden or unrecognized and by assigning its proper place in the human conscience, we respond to our duty to remember.”

— UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura

 

Friday, June 27, 1969 was the last day of school that year. And with school out, my middle-school cronies and I looked forward to a summer reprieve from rioting against Italian, Irish and Jewish public school kids for being bussed into their neighborhoods. However, the summer months in Brooklyn’s African American enclaves only escalated rioting between New York’s finest — the New York Police Department — and us. During this tumultuous decade of Black rage and White police raids, knee-jerk responses to each other’s slights easily set the stage for a conflagration, creating both instantaneous and momentary fighting alliances in these Black communities — across gangs, class, age, ethnicity and sexual orientations — against police brutality. That night of June 27 started out no differently than any hot and humid summer Friday night in my neighborhood. Continue Reading →

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