Professor Stein Discusses Influence of 'Stonewall' Author David Carter

Thursday, May 14, 2020

BAY AREA REPORTER -- Marc Stein, a gay man and History professor at San Francisco State University, said that Mr. Carter’s viewpoint influenced his own writings.

“David’s book, along with Martin Duberman’s collective biography of six Stonewall protagonists (1993), were foundational for my 2019 collection of primary sources on Stonewall (‘The Stonewall Riots: A Documentary History,’ NYU Press),” Stein wrote in an email to the Bay Area Reporter. “David also was very helpful and generous when I asked him to read a draft of my book’s introduction. We certainly didn’t agree about everything, but his comments and criticisms helped improve my work.”

Stein wrote, “David wasn’t as convinced as I was that the Watts rebellion of 1965 and other African American urban rebellions in the 1960s should be regarded as inspirations for the Stonewall riots; he saw no evidence for this, whereas I did. David also was deeply concerned about increasingly popular accounts that exaggerate the presence of trans people, people of color, and lesbians in the rebellion (in contrast, I was inclined to describe that presence as significant and important, without endorsing unsubstantiated claims that a majority of the rioters were trans people of color).

“In our conversations, David consistently emphasized the importance of ‘the facts’ and ‘the truth;’ these were commitments that served him well in producing and defending his work on Stonewall,” Stein added.