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The high five

10 minutes

The origins of the high five, and its inventor – an unsung gay pioneer

In 1977, Glenn Burke, a rookie outfielder in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Los Angeles Dodgers, lifted his arm high above his head and slapped palms with his teammate Dusty Baker to celebrate a milestone home run, marking what is widely regarded as the first documented instance of a high five. But perhaps even more fascinating than the high five’s impromptu, exuberant birth is the story of its inventor: MLB’s first openly gay player. The extraordinary story of a largely unsung pioneer, The High Five revisits Burke’s life, a man who quietly challenged traditional notions of masculinity decades before lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes in professional sports became headline news.

Director: Michael Jacobs

Producer: Chris Gary

Website: Strike Anywhere Films

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Essay/
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Even experts can’t predict violence or suicide. Surely we’re kidding ourselves that we can see inside the minds of others

Robert Burton

Essay/
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As Hannah Arendt argued, there is one common thread which connects individuals drawn to all kinds of extremist ideologies

Nabeelah Jaffer