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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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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

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

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