Historian Marc Stein On The Stonewall Riots: A Documentary HistoryHistorians in the News
tags: books, Stonewall, book reviews, LGTQ history
Marc Stein is the Jamie and Phyllis Pasker Professor of History at San Francisco State University. He is the author of City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves (2000), Sexual Injustice (2010), and Rethinking the Gay and Lesbian Movement (2012).
WHY DID the Stonewall Riots occur when and where they did? When historians have tried to address this question, they have come up with several plausible answers. Few give much credence to the popular myth that the riots in 1969, when thousands of people protested in the streets of Greenwich Village in response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, were a completely spontaneous and entirely unprecedented reaction to the oppression faced by LGBT people.
With varying degrees of persuasiveness, historians have settled on essentially three alternative explanations, each of which contributes to our understanding of the rebellion. First is the argument that the uprising was the culmination of political organizing by the “homophile” movement that began in the early 1950s and radicalized in the mid-1960s. Second, there’s the idea that the riots were profoundly influenced by a long tradition of bar-based oppression and resistance and the distinct factors that shaped that tradition in New York City. A third explanation stresses that the rebellion was influenced by the radicalization of other social movements in the late 1960s and inspired by the wave of urban riots that began with the Watts rebellion in Los Angeles in 1965.
comments powered by Disqus
- The Debt Ceiling Law is now a Tool of Partisan Political Power; Abolish It
- Amitai Etzioni, Theorist of Communitarianism, Dies at 94
- Kagan, Sotomayor Join SCOTUS Cons in Sticking it to Unions
- New Evidence: Rehnquist Pretty Much OK with Plessy v. Ferguson
- Ohio Unions Link Academic Freedom and the Freedom to Strike
- First Round of Obama Administration Oral Histories Focus on Political Fault Lines and Policy Tradeoffs
- The Tulsa Race Massacre was an Attack on Black People; Rebuilding Policies were an Attack on Black Wealth
- British Universities are Researching Ties to Slavery. Conservative Alumni Say "Enough"
- Martha Hodes Reconstructs Her Memory of a 1970 Hijacking
- Jeremi Suri: Texas Higher Ed Conflict "Doesn't Have to Be This Way"
- New transcript of Ayn Rand at West Point in 1974 shows she claimed “savage" Indians had no right to live here just because they were born here
- The Mexican War Suggests Ukraine May End Up Conceding Crimea. World War I Suggests the Price May Be Tragic if it Doesn't
- The Vietnam War Crimes You Never Heard Of