On Friday, June 28, Savannah Pride and the Savannah LGBT Center partnered up to throw a legendary Block Party on Bull Street in honor of the Stonewall Riots of the late 1960s.
The Stonewall Riots are known as the first Pride event. They took place early one morning as NYPD officers raided the Stonewall Inn, one of the only bars in New York that would serve the LGBTQ+ community, and arrested several of the patrons there.
Seeing the brutality of the police officers as they raided the bar, Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans women, threw a shot glass at a mirror and yelled, “I got my civil rights!”
Then, Storme Delarvarie, a butch lesbian and drag queen who was also at the bar, actively fought the police and after punching an officer was arrested and yelled, “Why don’t you guys do something?”
It is after this that the following five days of the Stonewall riots began. These actions led to the beginning of Pride and the LGBTQ+ liberation movements.
After Stonewall, activists such as Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and many others began organizations to help LGBTQ+ youth and change laws around the criminalization of homosexuality.
Fifty years later, there is much to celebrate.
The Legendary Block Party in honor of Stonewall offered many activities such as tie-dye, a beer garden, drag shows by local drag queens, recording sessions by StoryCore where community elders told their stories that will now be held in the Library of Congress.
“We’re really enjoying what we’re being able to create,” Dusty, a Savannah Pride Organizer said.
There was also a screening of Netflix Original Documentary “The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson” as well as wall panel displays of several prominent moments in queer history that were being held in local businesses surrounding the center during the event.
Over 1,000 people attended the block party.