New York City Black Pride returns for the eighteenth time on Wednesday, August 12 and runs through Sunday, August 16. This five-day festival of events is aimed at honoring and celebrating the history, culture and accomplishments of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities of color, with an emphasis on health and wellness programming. Established in 1997, Black Pride remains the longest existing event servicing black and latino LGBT people in New York City. On their website, their slogan reads, “We honor our History, We celebrate the Heritage, We set a path toward a better Future…” and this year they are honoring those words with an incredibly worthwhile and exciting schedule of events.
From its inception, NYC Black Pride has featured events that strive to promote awareness of advocacy initiatives and wellness programs focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention, outreach and testing as well as focusing on other STDs that disproportionately affect Same Gender Loving (SGL) individuals of color. Most importantly, the team behind Black Pride hopes to empower LGBT youth to deal with issues directly affecting them such as bullying and suicide prevention. All events are open to everyone regardless of race, creed, age or gender. Some of the highlights from this year’s lineup include:
Black Lesbian Lives Matter, celebrating the lives, art and writings of notable lesbian women of African descent at the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn on Wednesday, August 12.
IGNITE, the kickoff reception for NYC Black Pride 2015 held at the ALOFT Harlem Hotel on Wednesday, August 12 featuring music by NYC’s own DJs Fred Pierce and Frankie Paradise.
5th Annual Black Pride Film Festival: Ballroom Lives Matter at the LGBT Community Center on Thursday, August 13. This great showcase of films will include four short films along with “The Rebirth of Paris” and a panel discussion afterward.
Health, Art & Culture Expo at the Helen Mills Event Space & Theater on Saturday, August 15. Featuring The Black Lesbian Forum. Join women of African descent as they discuss health and other issues affecting their community. Expect a great panel featuring Director of Outreach Training for the NYC DOHMO Bureau of STD Control and Prevention Dr. Millicent Freeman, Executive Director of Love Heals Deborah Levine, Joyce Myricks of the Allied Services Center and Shyvon Paul from the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, as well as surprise speakers!
W2W (Women to Women) Reception, a special dance party for the ladies on Saturday, August 15 at Melba’s 125 in Harlem. $35 entry.
Pride at the Beach on Coney Island to wrap up the festival on Sunday, August 16. Frolic on the beach while celebrating your Pride and enjoying a live performance by SONY music artist Daisha! Meet at the Coney Island Boardwalk at 21st St!
For more information and a complete schedule of events, head to www.nycblackpride.com.