Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Harvey Milk's life illuminated in 'Interviews'
BOOKS
by Alex Lubischer
2012-04-25

This article shared 5217 times since Wed Apr 25, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In The Harvey Milk Interviews: In His Own Words, editor Vince Emery has compiled a book that chronicles the gay rights pioneer's life, struggles and strategies, primarily as told by Milk himself. The 39 interviews, which have never before been published in a book, span Milk's political career from his first days as a candidate for San Francisco's board of supervisors in 1973 until mere weeks before his assassination in 1978.

When asked what inspired him to compile and edit "Interviews," Emery said, "In this book, Milk explains his strategies and also his plans—what he hoped to do before he was assassinated. … I'm hoping that people who don't know more about Milk will be inspired to take action by reading the book." Emery then laughed and added, "And it's gratifying because it took a heck of a lot of work to put it together."

Emery, a resident of San Francisco, was aided in his mission to unearth new information about Milk by his proximity to the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center in San Francisco's Public Library. The center, described on its website as "the gateway to collections documenting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history and culture," is home to many of Milk's papers as well as the archives of The Mayor of Castro Street author Randy Shiltz. Emery conducted more investigative work at San Francisco's GLBT Historical Society. Additionally, he scoured the Bay Area's television archives for interviews on Milk.

"Interviews," took Emery nearly three years to complete, and was originally intended to be finished by 2010. " I actually started it thinking, 'Well, this will be a valuable book and it won't take that long to do,'" said Emery. "I was wrong about the second half."

Emery noted that obtaining the rights to various interviews was one of the more difficult parts of the process. Whoever originally recorded various radio interviews and televised debates owned the rights to those recordings, and most of the contents obtained for the book were not public interviews. Emery said the compilation of "Interviews" required a lot of "detective work" and some Indiana Jones-esque moments of discovery.

One anecdote Emery recounted was his discovery of a recording of the longest "Briggs vs. Milk" debate on eBay. In the recording, Milk and California State Senator John Briggs debated the infamous Proposition 6 Briggs Initiative, a 1978 California proposition that, had it passed, would have removed gay teachers from public schools. After Emery acquired the recording, he had to "hunt down" the owner to obtain the rights to publish it. Fortunately, Dan Nicoletto, a former employee of Milk's store, Castro Camera, aided him in his quest.

The Briggs debate portion of "Interviews" is as exciting as it is informative. In one televised interview, in which no formalized debate structure was established, the verbal sparring between Briggs and Milk reads like a teleplay. These and other passages are marked by Milk's superb wit. "Here is a man who loved to talk and did it well," said Emery.

Emery had originally considered editing Brigg's lengthy speeches out of the debates before he decided to publish them in full. "It's really important for people to see these arguments," said Emery. "I was surprised that some of these same arguments, even though they're not valid, people are still using exactly the same arguments today. I think it's good that they are in here because you can see Harvey's countermoves to Briggs' arguments."

In another of the book's noteworthy interviews from 1978, Milk spoke on Los Angeles-based radio reporter Greg Gordon's program This Way Out, now the oldest LGBT-focused radio program in the United States. Milk cautioned that stamping out gay rights was often a precursor to the oppression of other minorities. Milk cited pre-Nazi Germany's prominent gay movement, which was "more advanced than the gay movement of San Francisco in 1978," as an example.

"Milk did see himself as very active for LGBT rights but he saw that in the spectrum of all minorities," said Emery. "He saw that if any minority was having its rights taken away, that would lead to rights being removed for everyone. That's why I put the quote that I did on the front cover of the book: 'I stand for the equal rights of all people.'"

In the wake of Proposition 8 being passed in California, Emery stressed his hope that this book will inspire people to keep involved and take action. "Milk saw that you can't have freedom, you can't have human rights, for one group of people if you're cutting them off for other groups of people," said Emery. "So gay rights do protect rights for everyone. I firmly believe he was absolutely right in that. … And, hopefully, that's something that people will read."

The Harvey Milk Interviews: In His Own Words by Harvey Milk will be available for purchase May 1. For additional info, visit www.emerybooks.com .


This article shared 5217 times since Wed Apr 25, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

State Farm drops GenderCool Project; Illinois General Assembly LGBTQ Caucus, Equality Illinois respond 2022-05-26
- This week in response to an outcry from a hateful few, Illinois-based insurer State Farm dropped their support for The GenderCool Project, which provides LGBTQ-affirming books to schools across the country on a voluntary basis. We ...


Gay News

Actor/model David Pevsner challenges age and body stereotypes in recent book 2022-05-24
- When writing his recent book—Damn Shame: Desire, Defiance and Show Tunes—actor/model/filmmaker David Pevsner noticed three themes coming to the fore: body shame, sexuality and ageism. "All three of those are ...


Gay News

Gayla Turner talks new book uncovering her grandmother's secret queer identity 2022-05-23
- In Gayla Turner's debut book, Don't You Dare: Uncovering Lost Love (BookBaby, May 24), she reveals her Grandmother Ruby's (1896-1977) century-old secret queer identity that she hid from the wider world. This revelation became c ...


Gay News

HIV/AIDS activist Rae Lewis-Thornton on her new memoir, 'Unprotected' 2022-05-18
- Emmy-winning HIV/AIDS activist, author, minister, political organizer, motivational speaker, life coach, jewelry designer and social media figure Rae Clara Lewis-Thornton's recently released book, Unprotected: A Memoir, is already a pre-release ...


Gay News

TV Writer Joel Kim Booster, director Andrew Ahn take a trip to 'Fire Island' 2022-05-15
- Based on the classic Jane Austen book Pride and Prejudice, the new Fox Searchlight film Fire Island has an important story to tell LGBTQ+ audiences specifically. In that story, there are plenty of laughs along the ...


Gay News

BOOKS 'Tinderbox' author to appear in Palatine on June 14 2022-05-13
- Author Robert Fieseler will discuss his debut book—Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation—on Tuesday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at Palatine's Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center, ...


Gay News

THEATER Underscore's 'Notes & Letters' running through May 28 2022-05-12
- Underscore Theatre Company celebrates its 10th-anniversary season with the world premiere of the musical Notes & Letters, which features book, music and lyrics by Annabelle Lee Revak (she/her) and is ...


Gay News

Book-signing for HIV/AIDS activist's 'Unprotected: A Memoir' on May 21 2022-05-05
-- From a press release - "I had been torn apart by the doings of others and blamed myself for surviving to the best of my ability. It would literally take decades for me to understand that I was the product of what happened to me." Emmy ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart announces change in leadership 2022-05-04
- Wil Brant is no longer executive director of Gerber/Hart Library and Archives. According to an open letter from board co-chairs James Conley and Kevin Nunley as well as Board Treasurer Becky Chmielewski, Brant "served in this ...


Gay News

'It Was Vulgar and It Was Beautiful' explores art collective's part in HIV/AIDS activism 2022-04-23
- In Jack Lowery's book, It Was Vulgar and It Was Beautiful: How AIDS Activists Used Art to Fight a Pandemic, the historian shares how the art collective Gran Fury utilized community-made propaganda to address the HIV/AIDS ...


Gay News

Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project showcases 'History of Milwaukee Drag' starting June 27 2022-04-21
-- From a press release - Milwaukee, WI. - A History of Milwaukee Drag: Seven Generations of Glamour, by local historians Michail Takach and BJ Daniels, will be released Monday, June 27 by The History Press. For nearly 150 years, Milwaukee has ...


Gay News

Gay Latino techie Michael Sayman talks about his inspiring book, 'App Kid' 2022-04-17
- Michael Sayman is a key figure in Silicon Valley, having worked at Instagram, Google and, now, Twitter. However, he stands out in many ways. The twentysomething Sayman—an openly gay Latino—was only in his teens when he ...


Gay News

Indie Bookstore Crawl on Independent Bookstore Day April 30 2022-04-14
-- From a press release - Chicago, April 12, 2022 — It's back! Yet again, Chicagoland proves itself to be the dream destination for book lovers and readers of all ages! Nearly 40 independent bookstores in the greater Chicago area—from Lake Forest ...


Gay News

'Trans Bodies, Trans Selves' second edition out April 15 2022-04-11
-- From a press release - NEW YORK CITY, New York, MApril 11, 2022—The Trans Bodies, Trans Selves board is proud to announce the release of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves' second edition, published April 15, 2022. The Trans Bodies Trans Selvessecond edition ...


Gay News

Mary Lynn Rajskub: Actress/comedian discusses acting, sexuality in new book 2022-04-10
- Emmy-winning actresses and stand-up comedians who just finished publishing their new memoirs, while simultaneously embarking on their stand-up tours, rarely have moments to themselves. Thankfully, Mary Lynn Rajskub, best known for her work on the TV ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.