White Night Riots Oral Histories
Organized by: t e
Update: A generous person donated a recorder to the project. But I could still use your help purchasing transcription software.
In May of 1979, thousands of Lesbian and Gay people rioted in the streets of San Francisco after a jury acquitted Dan White in the murders of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. He was instead convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to only seven years in prison. That evening, the gay community unapologetically united across political and class differences to fight back against institutional oppression and street-level violence. As the fires raged, politicians were trapped in City Hall by crowds of angry gay people. Police cars and government buildings were set on fire. Stores were looted and direct combat with the police ensued. Gay politicians and community leaders who typically stepped in to calm angry crowds in favor of working within the system, refused to condemn the rioters. At the close of what has since been labelled the most sexually liberated decade in contemporary history, queer people became a force to be reckoned with, and a social class that would refuse submission at any and all costs. The upheaval became known as the White Night Riots.
As many of you may know, I have been diligently researching San Francisco's White Night Riot in 1979 for nearly a year now. I even wrote my undergraduate thesis on the riot! I have conducted interviews with people who were present at the riot and am scheduled to sit down with more. It is my intention to publish the interviews online and eventually produce a manuscript. There are currently no books or documentaries that focus primarily or exclusively on the riots. With your help I am attempting to fill this void. I could go on about why I think queer history work (specifically collecting oral histories) is important, but I am not trying to preach to the choir.
So here is the pitch: I am broke, flat broke. Lost my job last month, just got a new one...but I don't get paid for a few more weeks. I have two interviews scheduled within the next week but I no longer have access to a digital audio recorder (that privilege came with being a student). So I need to raise enough money ASAP to purchase an audio recorder. I need about 70 or 80 bucks to cover a very basic audio recorder. I could also use help acquiring reliable transcription software and money for transportation, etc. Can anyone help a girl dedicated to recovering and preserving queer history out?
Want more info on the White Night Riots? Check out this handy Wikipedia link: