Before Stonewall, There Was Black Cat in Silver Lake

Photo: Nathanmac87 via Flickr

Today Slate pays tribute to Black Cat, a Silver Lake sixties gay bar that sounds much like the West Coast version of Stonewall, though history has largely forgotten it. On the dawning of 1967 (two years before The Stonewall riots in New York), police raided the bar and arrested sixteen people engaged in sharing New Year’s kisses with their partners, (that is, after breaking a few heads and spleens in keeping with the times). The arrested were found guilty and protests were organized, but little changed until the incidents at Stonewall brought massive media attention to such violations. Of course it makes us proud to know our city residents were fighting for these particular civil rights before the massive mobilization in New York. It’s just too bad that we’ve fallen so far behind the curve. [Slate]