David Carter presents information indicating that the Mafia owners of the Stonewall and the manager were blackmailing wealthier customers, particularly those who worked in the Financial District. They appeared to be making more money from extortion than they were from liquor sales in the bar. Carter deduces that when the police were unable to receive kickbacks from blackmail and the theft of negotiable bonds (facilitated by pressuring gay Wall Street customers), they decided to close the Stonewall Inn permanently.
David Carter, in his article “What made Stonewall different,” explained that even though there were several uprisings before Stonewall, the reason why Stonewall was so historical was because thousands of people were involved, the riot lasted a long time (six days), it was the first to get major media coverage, and it sparked the formation of many gay’s rights groups.
The riots spawned from a bar raid became a literal example of gays and lesbians fighting back, and a symbolic call to arms for many people. Historian David Carter remarks in his book about the Stonewall riots that the bar itself was a complex business that represented a community center, an opportunity for the Mafia to blackmail its own customers, a home, and a place of "exploitation and degradation". The true legacy of the Stonewall riots, Carter insists, is the "ongoing struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality".
Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Media Tie-In, New Edition edition (May 25, 2010)
Amazon: Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution
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"Riveting...Not only the definitive examination of the riots but an absorbing history of pre-Stonewall America, and how the oppression and pent-up rage of those years finally ignited on a hot New York night." - Boston Globe
In 1969, a series of riots over police action against The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village, changed the longtime landscape of the homosexual in society literally overnight. Since then the event itself has become the stuff of legend, with relatively little hard information available on the riots themselves. Now, based on hundreds of interviews, an exhaustive search of public and previously sealed files, and over a decade of intensive research into the history and the topic, Stonewall brings this singular event to vivid life in this, the definitive story of one of history's most singular events.
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