Author Alex Hortis will lead an audio-visual presentation focusing on his new book, “The Mob and the City: The Hidden History of How the Mafia Captured New York” (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2014) at the Enoch Pratt Free Library on May 7 at 7 p.m. He will discuss how and why the Mafia was able to run many of New York City’s gay bars in the 1960s and 1970s and will include a local perspective.
“With little competition, the Mafia could charge high prices for substandard amenities,” Hortis said. “Mobsters were often willing to sacrifice their gay customers during staged police raids to appease the public, too. These frustrations boiled over on Saturday, June 28, 1969, when patrons of the Mafia-owned Stonewall Inn fought back against a police raid.” He and other historians have concluded that the 1969 Stonewall uprising was, in large part, a reaction against the mob-run system of gay bars.
The event titled, “The Historic Role of the Mafia in Gay Life,” is co-sponsored by FreeState Legal and the Enoch Pratt Writers LIVE! Series and is free and open to the public.