Daily Gazette: Latest mural from SHS

Daily Gazette: Latest mural from club at Schenectady H.S. spotlights transgender activities
Posted on 01/14/2019
Daily Gazette:  SHS mural

A long, once-blank wall in the fine arts wing of Schenectady High School is being transformed.

Colorful flags – one rainbow colored, the other blue-and-pink striped – serve as the backdrop for a pair of emerging figures, one with a fist raised over her head.

The figures’ faces Thursday were still rendered only in the soft pencil used for an outline. But the mural’s central characters were slowly emerging in color: Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, transgender women of color and key activists in New York City’s gay liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

“Without them, there would be no trans community in the LGBT-plus community,” said senior Ja’Deana Cognetta-Whitfield, co-president of Roots Club, a student club organized to highlight black history and culture. One of the club's activities is to create a mural each year at the school.

Johnson and Rivera were present for protests at the Stonewall Inn, after a police raid targeted the gay community. In 1970, the close friends formed STAR, an organization that supported and housed young LGBTQ youths in New York.

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