Netflix Buys Rights To Stream The Death and Life Of Marsha P. Johnson

June 6, 2017  |  

June is Pride month in New York City, culminating in the march on June 25. So naturally, that fact is being reflected on social media and a couple of days ago, I stumbled across a meme that in celebration of the month, mentioned that Black Trans women need to not only be respected and protected, but acknowledged for starting the whole pride movement to begin with.

Well isn’t that something? While it was certainly new information to me, I can’t say I’m entirely surprised. We already know that Black women are often at the forefront of revolutionary change.

In that spirit, Netflix has acquired the rights to stream the David France documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, a film that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The film explores the death of Johnson, a trans icon and advocate, often called the “Rosa Parks of the LGBT movement.”

In 1992, Johnson’s body was found floating in the Hudson River. Initially, authorities ruled it a suicide. But Victoria Cruz, a crime victim advocate, started digging into the realties of what happened to Marsha as well as the challenges facing the LGBT community.

During her life, Johnson played an integral in the Stonewall uprising of 1969, where members of the community fought back violently after police raided the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969. The event is considered the single most important one in the fight for gay liberation. The very next year, in 1970, Pride events were established in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.

That same year, Johnson, alongside Sylvia Rivera, founded the first trans-rights organization Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries or STAR.

The documentary will stream later this year.

You can watch this interview with Marsha and the people who knew her well in the video below.

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