Dansky, Steven F. “Hot August Night/1970: The Forgotten LGBT Riot (Volume 1)”, Christopher Street Press, 2012.
We Shall Not Forget
I am so happy to tell you about a new press launched recently by Steven Dansky. Christopher Street Press is aimed at preserving our history and Dansky, an original member of Gay Liberation Press and activist, photographer and writer has been involved in the fight for LGBT equality for fifty years. The first print book from the press is a small u powerful volume, “Hot August Night/1970: The Forgotten LGBT Riot” and is about the riot that took place a year after Stonewall and a month after the first New York City pride march in Central Park.
The book is a collection of photographs and personal reminiscences by those who were there—aside from Dansky, we hear from writers Perry Brass and N.A. Diaman as well as from ten others and Dansky himself. It is so important to have our history. We have not had an easy time and we have worked hard to get to where we are today. We see that the problem of recording our history is that many people have different views and as one gets older, memory fades. For this reason, the photographs are important because we all know that pictures trigger memories.
This book focuses on the riot of August 29, 1970 when members of a group,“Flaming Faggots” came together to go to Times Square for a demonstration against police harassment. The very idea that an openly gay group would take part in such a demonstration at a highly visible place lets us know how important equality is to us (in 1970). Our community aspired to help make the world safe for everyone and social justice and our own survival become one and the same.
I must say that this is one of the most fascinating reads I have had in a long time. Even though the book is only 68 pages long and half of those pages are photographs, I found a lot to think about. I am anxious to see what else is coming from Dansky and Christopher Street Press.