Oral Histories from the Summer of 1969

June 19, 2019

Steven Palmer, Clinic Coordinator, has been a Physician Assistant in HIV care – both treatment and prevention, since 1996.   He has been part of the Columbia Research Unit since 2007, and has enrolled hundreds of participants in both HIV vaccine and antibody studies.  Outside of his clinical career, Steven has always enjoyed conducting oral histories and formalized this interest, receiving his Masters in Oral History at Columbia University in 2017.  With an admiration for the "Woodstock generation" and curiosity about the cultural movements during the 1960's, Steven has had the exciting opportunity to be involved in two projects, both fiftieth-anniversary celebrations from the summer of 1969 – the Stonewall Oral History Project and the Woodstock Oral History Project. 

Steven's involvement with the Stonewall Oral History Project consists of a series of interviews with individuals who were present at the Stonewall Riots in 1969. One of his interviews is open to the public at the New York Historical Society as part of their Stonewall exhibition.  It is an interview with Karla Jay, a one-time member of the Gay Liberation Front, The Radicalesbians, and The Lavender Menace and author of “Tales of the Lavender Menace.”  An interview he conducted with Rumi Missabu of the infamous Cockettes in 2018, is also featured in the documentary, Ruminations. His interviews for the Stonewall Oral History project can be viewed on YouTube under “Stonewall Oral History Project," and one with Rollerena is displayed below. 

For The Woodstock Oral History Project, Steven conducted interviews comparing the cultural shifts and aspirations of young people (ages 16 - 30) today and those of the woodstock generation. These interviews are on display at the Woodstock Museum at Bethel Woods.  His work is part of the “We Are Golden” and the exhibit will be up until December 2019.  You can go to Bethelwoods.org for more information.  


Rollerena | The Stonewall Oral History Project