Season 4: Episode 9: Ernestine Eckstein
Summary: See the June 1966 issue of The Ladder with Eckstein on the cover here and read the interview that Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen conducted with her. Gittings and Lahusen were featured in two MGH episodes here and here. And Kay was featured in a bonus episode about her monthly “gay” dinner table at the retirement facility where she now lives. For information about The Ladder, the magazine published by the Daughters of Bilitis, read Malinda Lo’s AfterEllen.com article and Marcia Gallo’s account of its history here. Also, take a tour of a GLBT Historical Society exhibit about The Ladder in this video. To learn more about the Daughters of Bilitis, read Marcia Gallo’s Different Daughters—A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Movement and be sure to listen to our episode with DOB co-founders Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, too. Ernestine Eckstein was one of the first participants in the July 4th “Annual Reminders,” picket lines organized by homophile organizations—under the leadership of Frank Kameny—from 1965 to 1969 at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. You can see a glimpse of Eckstein picketing at 28:50 in “The Homosexuals,” a controversial CBS program from 1967 hosted by “60 Minutes” veteran correspondent Mike Wallace. You can see footage of the 1968 Annual Reminder in “The Second Largest Minority,” a short documentary by Lilli Vincenz, here. Following her involvement with the gay rights movement, Eckstein focused her energies on black feminist issues and became active with BWOPA (Black Women Organized for Political Action). Read about the organization’s mission and history here.