A brutal police crackdown on gay bars in Silver Lake, which took place during the first week of January in 1967, is credited as being the impetus for the activist movement for gay rights in America. On consecutive Saturday nights, officers from the LAPD’s newly-opened Rampart Division made arrests of patrons and staff at the Black Cat and New Faces, located along the one-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake that was home to a dozen or more gay bars. Protests spread across Los Angeles and the country, cementing Silver Lake as the heart of the gay rights movement. As Los Angeles Magazine reported in 2019, the first march to commemorate Stonewall in 1970 was named “Christopher Street Liberation Day.” But recognizing its origins in Los Angeles and Silver Lake the commemoration was accurately renamed PRIDE.
The Silver Lake History Collective produced this fascinating interview with the co-owners
of Akbar. In 2017, the Collective documented the 50th anniversary of the Black Cat riot
with this reenactment.