Past Event: Portraits of Pride: Stormé, Marsha, and Stonewall on Film
Pioneering LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson is being honored with one of the world’s first monuments to a transgender person. Hear her story and that of Stormé DeLarverie, both at the vanguard of the gay rights movement, in this evening of film and conversation.
Kick off Pride Month with a screening of two short films that look back at the trailblazing activists who helped ignite the Stonewall uprising in 1969. The first, Stormé: The Lady of the Jewel Box (21 min, 1987), traces the life of Stormé DeLarverie, a lesbian activist rumored to have thrown the first punch at Stonewall. The second, Happy Birthday, Marsha! (14 min, 2018), imagines the hours before Marsha P. Johnson found herself on the doorstep of history on the night of the Stonewall uprising. Afterwards, friends and followers of the two iconoclasts sit down for a conversation about the intersections between Stonewall, trans history, and queer black history in New York City, featuring:
- Michelle Parkerson, Director, Stormé: The Lady of the Jewel Box
- John T. Reddick, Harlem Historian
- Rose Wood, performance artist and longtime friend of Stormé
- Jessica Green (moderator), Artistic Director, Houston Cinema Arts Society
About the Speakers:
Michelle Parkerson is an award-winning independent film/video maker and an assistant professor in Film & Media Arts at Temple University. Her films include But Then She's Betty Carter (1980), Gotta Make This Journey: Sweet Honey in the Rock (1983), and Storme: Lady of the Jewel Box (1987). She was awarded the Prix du Public at the Festival International de Creteil Films de Femmes and the Audience and Best Biography Awards at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
John T. Reddick is an architectural historian and a long-time resident of Harlem (recently profiled here). He serves as vice president of the board of Harlem Pride, an organization whose mission is to empower Harlem’s SGL/LGBTQ community through forums, workshops, networking events, and other community outreach activities including the annual Harlem Pride Day Celebration. Reddick is also a board member at the New York Preservation Archive Project.
Rose Wood is a performance artist and self-defined “gender terrorist” known for performances which explore gender identity and social issues. She is the headliner at the Box nightclub in London and New York City and performs both throughout the United States and internationally. She is the subject of the documentary Miss Rosewood (Helle Jensen, 2017) which explores her life and work. The film won the Honorific Mention and Audience Award at the Guadalajara Film Festival’s LGBT division, where Wood also won the Queer Icon Award. She was a longtime friend of Stormé DeLarverie and has been a resident at the Chelsea Hotel for decades.
Jessica Green (moderator) is currently the artistic director of the Houston Cinema Arts Society. She was the cinema director of the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem, founded by legendary filmmaker Albert Maysles, from 2008-2018. Green is also a former founder, owner and editor-in-chief of the New York based, independent Hip-Hop magazine Stress (1994-2001) and the former executive editor of BET.com (2000-2005).
This program is presented as part of Pride = Power!, the Museum’s series of exhibitions and events in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. It is also co-presented with Jessica Green at the Maysles Documentary Center as part of their ongoing non-fiction film series Made in Harlem: Class of ’68.