Cleve Jones still vividly recalls the moment on Nov. 27, 1978, when he saw his friend and mentor Harvey Milk’s dead body at San Francisco City Hall. Jones had heard Mayor George Moscone had been shot, but didn’t know by whom, or much else, as he raced to city supervisor Milk’s office. Police crowded the corridors. The 48-year-old Milk—a pioneering and uncompromising LGBT and civil rights campaigner and now a beloved icon—and Moscone had been assassinated by former board supervisor Dan White. That day still has such a nightmare, unreal quality to it for Jones that in his brilliant memoir, When We Rise: My Life in the Movement, these moments are conveyed in italics. “It became an ongoing, recurring nightmare for me,” he tells me. “The way I remember it has dream-like quality to it. I had never seen a dead person before, and I do remember quite directly and vividly that when the police officer removed him, his head rolled back.” There was blood, bits of bone, brain tissue, and Milk’s head was a “hideous purple.” With Milk’s body lying there in his secondhand wingtip shoes, Jones and others listened to the now-famous tape he made 10 days prior… Read full this story
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