This week, The Milwaukee County Landmarks Committee unanimously approved historic landmark designation for the site of the Black Nite Uprising, 400 N. Plankinton Ave.
This is the first official historical monument, marker or memorial in Wisconsin to be devoted to the history of LGBTQ people.
The Black Nite Uprising was the first documented act of LGBTQ resistance in Wisconsin history. It took place Aug. 5, 1961 and was the first time in Wisconsin history that gay, lesbian and gender non-conforming people united to take action against homophobic and transphobic violence as one united community.
For over a decade, the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project has researched the social, cultural and spiritual impact of the Black Nite Uprising. This happened nearly eight years before the Stonewall Uprising, long regarded as the formative event in LGBTQ resistance.
The commemoration will also honor the leadership of Josie Carter, a Black, Trans woman and a local nightlife persona for over six decades.
"This is a moment of victory," said Michail Takach, curator of the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project, who submitted the application for historic designation in May 2021. "But the victory doesn't belong to us. It belongs to a generation of people who never saw themselves as heroes, because the world treated them like criminals and deviants."
A committee was formed to consider the design, development and dedication processes for a physical landmark. The group hopes to create a Riverwalk destination landmark that is accessible, inclusive, meaningful and educational.
"They never expected to be remembered, much less celebrated. Through this historic landmark, we can make sure they will always be seen for the heroes they were," says Takach.
To read more about the Black Nite Uprising, go here.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.