Activist and author George M. Johnson (All Boys Aren’t Blue) announced via Twitter this week that his nonfiction graphic novel Stonewall has been acquired by Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, and is set for publication in 2022. The young readers title focuses on the history of the LGBTQ+ movement and its roots in the Stonewall Riots in 1969. It will be illustrated by artist Theo Lorenz.
June 28, 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the protests in New York City’s Greenwich Village against the NYPD. The event became known as the Stonewall Riots, and is credited as a major turning point for the LGBTQ rights movement. The protests were led by trans women of color, and also led to the first-ever Pride Parade, which has evolved into June becoming Pride Month.
Unfortunately, over the years much of the true narrative of the event has been rewritten, giving credit to white activists, specifically a cis white gay man, virtually erasing the presence of leaders and activists such as Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major, and others who were at the forefront of six days of riots.
Johnson’s graphic novel will offer readers a more accurate depiction of what the Stonewall Riots were really about and who the prominent players were in the historical—and important—movement that set the stage for LGBTQ+ rights today. It will also shed light on the rights of people of color whose contributions to this movement (and others) have been co-opted by other groups, specifically by white men.
Stay tuned for more on Stonewall including official release dates and art. Head over to Tu Books’ website for updates.