Later this month will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. This protest against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn became one of the most pivotal moments in the fight for LGBT equality in the United States. It’s an important part of American history, and this author wants to make sure that children know of its importance with his new book.
Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution is a picture book written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Jamey Christoph. It tells the history of the Stonewall Inn and how it became the sight of an uprising that would eventually lead to several gay rights groups being established as well as the first ever pride march.
Having previously written children’s books about Harvey Milk and gay rights activism, Sanders felt that it is important for young readers to learn about the beginning of the gay rights movement despite some people’s objections:
“I’m often asked why I write controversial books. I don’t consider what I write controversial. I consider it, as you said, history. To me, not teaching history would be controversial. The shelf of picture books that discuss LGBTQ+ history is small, but it’s growing. And it should grow. LGBTQ+ history is part of American history.”
As a gay artist, Christoph felt a personal connection to the source material, something that he hadn’t felt when drawing for other books:
“As a gay artist and as someone who had my own struggles coming to terms with my identity, and valuing these type of stories that show adversity but give hope, it was personal. I really gave it my all.”
Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution is available now.
Featured Image Via New York Magazine