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The Harvey Milk Interviews:
In His Own Words
new second edition,

by Harvey Milk

Table of Contents

Harvey Milk Chronology

PART ONE: 1930-1973,
The First Eight Lives of Harvey Milk

PART TWO: 1973-1975,
Two-Time Loser

  1. Shopowner runs for supervisor
  2. "What is obscene, except people who think that they can tell others how to live?"
  3. "Taxes and priorities change from year to year, but freedom does not."
  4. A gay candidate with something for all
  5. "Shop owner / social organizer / politician"
  6. The second time around for Milk
  7. "I'm not a gay candidate, but a candidate who happens to be gay."

Harvey Milk vs. The Machine

  1. "If we are to live in harmony, we have to build bridges from community to community."
  2. "I will fight for freedom of speech and for democracy."
  3. "I try to set examples by deeds rather than simply by words."
  4. "If they give you a crumb, they can take that crumb away. But if they give you freedom, it's pretty hard to take that away."
  5. "I stand for the equal rights of all people."
  6. "I don't know if I'll run again."
  7. "The problem with New York is it drove the middle economic class out of the city, which is what's happening here."
  8. "You'll find the same people here that you'll find in the straight world. Maybe a little less inhibited, is all."

PART FOUR: 1977,
Milk Fights 16 Opponents

  1. Divided they stand: the Milk-Stokes split
  2. "I don't think in terms of labels. I only think in terms of issues."
  3. "If I become a supervisor, then they'll talk to me."
  4. "Gay rights protect everyone."
  5. "I can really appreciate what Jackie Robinson was up against."
  6. An "unofficial supervisor" gets a shot at real power

PART FIVE: 1978,
Supervisor Milk Raises Hell

  1. Harvey Milk talks about politicians and lying
  2. "You can throw bricks at City Hall or you can take it over"
  3. "There's got to be a lot more Harvey Milks."
  4. "Every time you take a stand you make an enemy. But you also make a friend."
  5. "A lot of people don't realize the importance of opening dialogues. It's the only way you change people's views."
  6. "Keep involved!"
  7. "This country has taken senior citizens and treated them like a can of beer—you drink it and toss it away."
  8. "I think San Francisco has enough mental complexes without adding physical complexes."
  9. "When you get into a philosophical change in government, then it takes time."
  10. Supes refuse street closing for parade

PART SIX: 1978,
Milk vs. Briggs

  1. "…the whole concept behind democracy and the Constitution is to protect the rights of the minority, not the majority."
  2. "Just because something has been a law for a long time doesn't make it right."
  3. "If more people got involved on every level—both sides, all sides—this nation would be a lot better off."
  4. "Who are we to say that another person must be put to death? I cannot make that decision over another's life."
  5. "John Briggs: How many careers ruined, how many lives destroyed, before you are satisfied in your thirst for power?"

The City Weeps

  1. "Silence never won rights."
  2. A living wage
  3. A last interview with our supervisor

Appendix: Milk's Supervisorial Activities

Further Reading and Viewing: An Opinionated Guide

Overflowing with Gratitude


About the Authors

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