In 1969, the Stonewall riots transformed the face of the LGBTQ movement across the US. Police raided Stonewall Inn, as they had done many times before, but this time the LGBTQ community fought back. The lesser known story is that many African-Americans and Latinos were patrons to the bar and they participated in the riots in a significant way. The Huffington Post reports:
Friday, June 27, 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.
The night of June 27 started out no differently from any hot and humid summer Friday night in my neighborhood. Past midnight, folks with no A.C. or working fans in their homes were just hanging out. Some lounged on the fire escapes, while others were on the stoops of their brownstones laughing and shooting the breeze. Some were in heated discussion of black revolutionary politics, while the Holy Rollers were competing with each other over Scripture. The Jenkins boys were drumming softly on their congas to the hot breezy mood of the night air. And directly under the street lamp was an old, beat-up, folding card table where the Fletchers and the Andersons, lifelong friends and neighbors, were shouting over a game of bid whist.
The sight of Dupree galloping up the block toward us abruptly interrupted the calm of the first hour of Saturday, June 28. Dupree stopped in front of the gaming table and yelled out, “The pigs across the bridge are beating up on black faggots — right now!”
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