Activist community

Black Pride: Representing the black LGBTQ+ community for 30 years

By Deborah Bailey,
AFRO DC Editor

June is LGBTQ Pride Month – a celebration and commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, organized to resist police harassment and general persecution of the LGBTQ community.

“Pride Month is a celebration of our progress, but should also be an acknowledgment of the work that remains to be done,” said former Brookins policy director Kristen Broady in a recent Brookins Institute article on black and brown activists who started the Pride Movement and why black queer community activism continues to be needed.

Here in Washington, DC, the LGBTQ community kicked off the National Pride celebration over the Memorial Day holiday with Black Pride weekend. A host of activities showcasing a range of professional, political action, educational, health, cultural, recreational, spiritual and entertainment events.

This year’s offering kicked off on May 26 and represented the first time Black Pride weekend has been held in person since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.

“I laughed, I ate, I drank, I took part in the greenery, I loved, I fraternized, I read, I felt pleasure and passion , and I rested. It was a good Pride weekend,” tweeted Bryanna Jenkins.

This year’s event was hosted by a plethora of corporate sponsors, including BET Television Verizon, Pepco and the National Education Association.

Since 1991, Black Pride celebrations have served as the precursor to national Pride Month celebrations that take place in the nation’s capital. (Courtesy picture)

“It’s been a good minute since I’ve enjoyed my city and had so much fun like I did,” tweeted DC resident James Padge.

Black Pride DC was started in 1991 by Welmore Cook, Theodore Kirkland and Ernest Hopkins, in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which ravaged LGBTQ communities in Washington, D.C. and urban centers across the county and around the world, according to the DC Black Pride website. .

There were 800 people who gathered for the first Black Pride festival at Banneker Field with “Let’s All Come Together”. Since DC’s celebration began, more than 30 other Black Pride celebrations have started in locations around the world.

Leaders of this year’s festival warn that HIV is still present in the black community. The African American community has been and still is disproportionately affected by HIV. The disease is now the nineteenth leading cause of death in developed countries, but remains one of the leading causes of death in developing countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

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