Celebrate People's History: Sylvia Ray Rivera

John Gerken
GVSU Collection
2 Color Offset Printed Poster
June 2001
Artworks - Height: 17" Width: 11"
An image of a woman with her left hand raised in a fist in the center of the image. Above her it says "Sylvia Ray Rivera". There is a ring around her of the words "Celebrate People's History" and below her on a silver background in black text it says "Stonewall 1969" and has the text: "Everybody says it was me that threw the first bottle. No, it was somebody behind me that threw it. But when that first bottle went by me, I said, “Oh lord, the revolution is finally here! Hallelujah, it’s time to go do your thing! The movement was born that night, and we knew that we had done something that everybody in the whole world would know about. They would know that gay people stood up and fought, and that would make everybody else stand up and fight.”
Historical Context:
The Celebrate People’s History posters are rooted in the do-it-yourself tradition of mass-produced political propaganda. These posters embody democracy, inclusion, and group participation in the writing and interpretation of the past. Unlike most political posters, the posters part of the Celebrate People’s History series tell the stories of the underdogs, those individuals and groups helping to move forward the collective struggle of humanity to create a more just world. For 20 years, over 130 different posters have been displayed on the streets of over a dozen cities representing over 150 artists and writers. The Celebrate People’s History Poster Series has been organized and curated by Josh MacPhee since 1998.