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The Phoenix Chronicle

When We Rise

Lisset Lott

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The show opens with following three characters from different places. It starts with Cleve Jones, a 17 teen year old boy who lives in Arizona, he tries to promote a walk out for the anti-war message. This is when he see the latest issue of Life magazine, “Life: The Year In Pictures 1971,” which has a feature on the gay liberation movement. He’s drawn to the gay liberation movement, with organized protesting (just like the peace movement) in places like San Francisco and New York. Cleve then caught by a nun at the quake church with a boy he is dating from the church. In fear Cleve goes home to look through his father books because his father is a psychiatrist and his mother is worker at their church. Cleve comes out to his father on his birthday and his father says “It’s an illness that can be treated”. This is when Cleve decides that he won’t stay and leaves to San Francisco with other boys that believe in their dreams. When he arrives in San Francisco they find out that there no Dream in San Francisco anymore. When he gets to San Francisco he has a place to stay for a week before he has to start paying. He finds out how cruel it is to be gay in San Francisco. Being gay can be horrible because the cops don’t even protect you but hurt you. During that incident, he later runs into another gay guy who he follows to a tree house. From there he feels safe and at home when he hangs out with them.

Cleve meets a Roma, she feels to give rights to women like her mother .She later told a  Lesbian women that entering a certain group will get her kicked out for being gay so she decides to leave. She goes to San Francisco where she enter a group called NOW and when states her opinion at a group meeting suggesting they get a permit to march and they laugh because they all have tried and never got anywhere. When she goes to ask for a permit the chief says there good if they’re talking about cookies and baking but if there speaking their minds they need to get lost. This is when she get mad and leaves and sleep with one of the girls from the group they later hold another meeting where they try to convince the women of the groups to get involved with gay man to get permanent because they never had that issue.When the women say they don’t want to be affiliated with men, Roma tries to convince them to stick together as one no matter their gender.

Ken Jones is a Black navy soldier whose over sea sat Vietnam when he receives a copy of the life issue magazine. We later learn that he dating another sailor on the ship and they put in a transfer to Nepal to leave all the shooting behind. When they attack to find location of their enemies they overheat the gun that kills Ken Jones boyfriend. When his boss ask about the offer he says he has no desire to leave anymore.They transfer him to San Francisco to teach classes. He later finds the story of many drag queens being like him when the police attack them he later runs and gets away to prevent getting in trouble.

This show is based around the black civil rights movement, the women’s movement, and Vietnam they face many issue to live while also being gay that later came a big issue in the future. I give this show a 5 out of 5 because it a new way of showing a documentary of people’s life.

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Student news site of Phoenix Military Academy in Chicago, IL
When We Rise