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Made in Harlem: Stormé and Marsha

  • The Museum of the City of New York 1220 5th Avenue New York, NY, 10029 United States (map)

Thursday, June 6th, 6:30pm
@ the Museum of the City of New York
1220 5th Avenue
Made in Harlem: Stormé and Marsha
In Celebration of Stonewall 50
Co-presented by Harlem Pride

Stormé: The Lady of the Jewel Box
Michelle Parkerson, 1987, 21 min
It’s been rumored that it was Stormé DeLarverie (1920-2014) who threw the first punch at Stonewall. While it’s impossible to know for sure, it’s indisputable that DeLarverie was one of the first and most vocal modern gay rights activists – as well as a singer, cross-dresser, bouncer, and bodyguard. Storme: The Lady of the Jewel Box traces her career as master of ceremonies of the Jewel Box Revue, a legendary touring company of female impersonators that started at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. This  film finds DeLarverie post-Jewel Box, post-Stonewall working as a bodyguard at a women’s bar in Chelsea, and flits between the heyday of her life as a performer and her role as an enduring defender of the LGBTQ community.

Happy Birthday, Marsha!
Reina Gossett, Sasha Wortzel, 2018, 14 min
Happy Birthday, Marsha!
commemorates Black transgender activist and performer Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson  (1945-1992) and her role in instigating the 1969 anti-policing riots at the Stonewall Inn, a watershed event for the gay liberation movement. The film interweaves imagined scenes with found archival footage to counter the endemic erasure of trans women of color from narratives of political resistance.The film stars Independent Spirit Award Winner Mya Taylor as Johnson with cinematography by Sundance winner Arthur Jafa and an original score by Geo Wyeth.

Q&A with Michelle Parkerson, (director of Storme: The Lady of the Jewel Box), John T. Reddick, (Harlem historian, Harlem Pride board vice president), Rose Wood (performance artist and longtime friend of Stormé), and moderated by Jessica Green (Made in Harlem: Class of '68 programmer).

$15 for Adults | $12 for Seniors, Students, and Educators (with ID)
$10 for Museum Members.
Includes Museum admission.

This program is part of
Made In Harlem: Class of ‘68
Fall 2018- Spring 2019
In the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King (April 4th, 1968) and the subsequent riots throughout America’s tapestry of urban centers – a fruitful reformer’s zeal possessed the U.S. which lead in part to the dawn of Black and Ethnic Studies programs, and the first community colleges. More locally in Harlem the Studio Museum was founded, as well as the National Black Theater, and El Museo del Barrio. As well in 1968, galvanized by the assassination of MLK, the New York City Ballet’s first African American star Arthur Mitchell (1934-2018) began teaching at the Harlem School of the Arts, and formed what would become the Dance Theater of Harlem in 1969.

Made in Harlem: Class of ’68 unpacks and explores the period before, during, and after the birth of these key cultural institutions in Harlem, as well as their impact, a period where Black Power, the Civil Rights Era, and Black Arts Movement coalesced and helped forge new aesthetics, politics, understandings and philosophies – the legacy of which is found everywhere throughout the planet in the early 21st century.

As Harlem, the United States, and the planet goes through rapid transformation there is hunger and yearning for context, understanding and literacy of our shared, and often erased history. This is an opportunity to quench that thirst. Made in Harlem is programmed by Jessica Green.

This program is supported by the West Harlem Development Corporation.

This program is also presented as part of Pride = Power!, the Museum of the City of New York's series of exhibitions and events in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.

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Earlier Event: June 2
Double Exposure: Uprize!