popular myth

Who threw the first brick at Stonewall? The debate rages on…

There are some mysteries we may never solve.

Whatever happened to Baby Jane? …Is there really a lost Britney Spears album called Original Doll? …Who threw the first brick at Stonewall?

The New York Times has put together a pretty amazing mini doc exploring the many theories behind the popular myth through interviews with people who participated in the uprising, as well as LGBTQ historians and contemporary queer writers.

Related: Check out the new mural dedicated to Stonewall hero Marsha P. Johnson

Spoiler alert: No one can agree on who it was. Or even if it was a brick. Or a cobblestone. Or a rock. Or something else. But that’s not the point.

Filmmaker Shane O’Neil writes:

Fifty years after Stonewall, we’re still arguing about what happened on that night. And that’s kind of the point: Stonewall was, at its core, about people reclaiming their narratives from a society that told them they were sick or pitiful or didn’t even exist.

Getting to tell your own story is a gift, but it means that you have to contend with other people’s stories, and I guess that can mean arguing, maybe for 50 years straight. And that’s O.K.


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