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Stonewall Uprising: American Experience

When police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village in New York City on June 28, 1969, the street erupted into violent protests that lasted for days. The Stonewall riots, as they came to be known, marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world.

Based on David Carter’s Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution and told through interviews with Stonewall patrons, reporters and the policeman who led the raid, Stonewall Uprising recalls the fervently hostile climate in which the gay community was forced to live. The vast majority of medical authorities decreed homosexuality a mental disorder and often prescribed brutal treatment, including lobotomy. Homosexual acts were illegal in every state except Illinois and gays frequently found themselves being hauled off to jail, their names splashed in the next day’s newspaper. Police entrapment was rampant, and being arrested meant that licenses to teach, practice law, medicine, or cosmetology might be denied or revoked.

Stonewall Uprising airs Tuesday, June 4 at 8:00 p.m.

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