Today, June 28, is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Resistance. On June 28th, 1969, as the Stonewall Inn was being raided by New York police, it is said by many that Marsha P. Johnson, a Black transgender freedom fighter threw a shot glass against a mirror which instigated moments of resistance that lasted for days, igniting the Gay Liberation Movement. This is still known as ‘the shot glass heard around the world.’
In recognition of the anniversary, David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), released the following statement:
“As we celebrate both the victories that have been gained in the fight for intersectional social justice as well as the battles that remain, it is important to celebrate Marsha P. Johnson’s legacy and to honor the contributions that she made by ensuring that spaces created by and established for Black people reflect the fullness of our diversity. Annually, journalists, pundits, and trolls alike question the value and necessity of historically Black institutions like HBCUs, Jack and Jill of America, and Black Greek letter organizations. Now, more than ever, in the face of increasing hate crimes and hate speech, it is important for all Black leaders and the institutions they lead to acknowledge and support all Black people, which, so we’re clear, includes Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving people.
“In the spirit of celebrating Black Pride during Pride Month, let us remember the sacrifices made to ensure that all Black people get free—that is, to ensure that all Black people are safe, healthy, and able to exist without explanation or apology.
“Let’s ensure that pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia, and concerts include an appropriate recognition of the contributions that Black leaders like Marsha P. Johnson and NBJC Black Transgender Advisory Council leaders like Nala Toussaint, Senior Minister Carmarian D. Anderson, and Londyn Richelou made and are making to the movement.”