Where Is Stonewall Now?
January 18, 2011 3:25 PM   Subscribe

Since November 29th., 2010 Boston's PBS station WGBH has had an open call for video submissions that "best tell the story of gay rights in America today." "WGBH...which produces American Experience, is inviting 'citizen reporters, journalists, video-bloggers, documentary story tellers, animators or new media-makers' to create three-minute shorts on the Stonewall Riots and their 'legacy of courage.'"* One winning submission "may air along with the television debut of Stonewall Uprising on American Experience this spring."

The Open Call by WGBH Labs (Blog || Facebook || Tumblr || Twitter || YouTube) ends February 14th., 2011.
posted by ericb (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The Stonewall Riots and their legacy previously on MetaFilter.
posted by ericb at 3:26 PM on January 18, 2011

Nothing like getting people to work for free.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:30 PM on January 18, 2011

I've worked with the Lab on previous Open Calls. They do great work, and hardly "for free" -- I won an iPod, and there's a $1000 reward for the video that sees airplay.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:19 AM on January 19, 2011

From The Stonewall Veteran's Association website:

"The STONEWALL Veterans' Association ("S.V.A.") is comprised of the actual, surviving and active veterans of the 1969 Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender ("GLBT") monumental 1969 Stonewall Rebellion at and the former regular patrons of The Stonewall Club (no one called it the "Inn") at 51 and 53 Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, New York, U.S.A. The rebellion (it was not a 'riot') lasted five inconsecutive nights (they were not 'riots') from Friday, June 27th, to Thursday, July 3rd, 1969. [emphasis added] On two nights (June 30 and July 1) it rained, so, no one wanting to get rained on, the rebellion was postponed! Symbolically, it was on the 'seventh day', July 4th, American Independence Day, that the united Gay community triumphantly celebrated our Gay independence -- though not our full civil rights and freedoms!"

I applaud efforts of media entities like WGBH to understand this watershed event but retelling the story in direct contradiction to the wishes of the participants of that event (they are very clear their actions are to be known as a "Rebellion" not a "Riot") leaves me feeling that people aren't actually listening carefully to the people who risked their lives in June 1969 to make a public stand against police harassment and who quite literally changed the world through their actions.

This is a great opportunity for a teaching point, not only about LGBTQ history, but about how, in terms of historiography, to respect the known stories and memories of the actual living participants of this historical event. If the Stonewall Veterans want us to know their actions as The Stonewall Rebellion, it behooves us to get this right and to build their story from an accurate starting point.

I hope that folks who are moved to make videos for this competition will keep this in mind and also explore why the Veterans insist on "Rebellion" instead of "Riot."
posted by kuppajava at 9:01 AM on January 19, 2011

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