“We’ve reached the point for the last few years where people don’t ask, ‘Why do we have Black Pride?'” says Earl Fowlkes. “I think people in our community understand the importance of this, for those who are of communities of duality, black and gay.”
Fowlkes is the longtime head of the Center for Black Equity, which organizes DC Black Pride, an annual celebration that draws thousands to Washington every Memorial Day weekend.
“After this last election, I think all people feel vulnerable,” he continues. “Particularly if you live in certain parts of the country…. We’re only into the first half-year of the administration, and it’s frightening to look already at what’s being done to attack and undermine LGBTQ rights.”
It’s the outside threats against LGBTQ people of color, whether physical, emotional, or political, that attendees of DC Black Pride seek to insulate themselves from as they gather with other LGBTQ black people, basking in the weekend’s positive energy and support.
The weekend, at 27 the longest-running Black Pride in the world, may be saturated with parties, but it’s also educational. Some of the weekend’s panels and workshops are geared towards those needs, everything from advice on jobs, sexual health, and aging.
Below are a few highlights of the this weekend’s events. All events are at the Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H St. NW, unless noted. Most events are free and open to the public. Visit dcblackpride.org for more details.
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
8:30 to 10:30 p.m. (check-in at 7:30 p.m.)
Farragut Square/Lafayette Park Room
Presented by Mary’s House for Older Adults
9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
A day-long workshop examining what life looks like for black LGBTQ and same-gender loving people. Topics include aging, intergenerational interaction. Free.
11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.
Noon to 2 p.m.
Farragut Square Room
Booz Allen Hamilton provide job-hunting tips and answers.
12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
2 to 7:15 p.m.
Moonlight at 2 p.m., Kiki at 4 p.m., and Check It at 5:45 p.m. (Independence Ballroom FGHI).
Hosted by Mary Bowman
7 to 9 p.m.
A competition highlighting the spoken word talents of the black LGBTQ community. Cash prizes. To participate, sign up online at dcblackpride.org or in the hospitality suite by 1 p.m. Saturday (Farragut Square/Lafayette Park Room)
9 to 11 a.m.
Guest speaker: Pastor Mitchell Jones, featuring a combined guest choir from various D.C. affirming churches.
(Farragut Square/Lafayette Park Room)
Noon to 6 p.m.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt. Vernon Pl. NW
A resource fair with booths highlighting various social, cultural, and health resources for the LGBTQ community. Attendees also get access to Daryl Wilson’s Epic Live party. $20 admission from 12-2 p.m. and $25 after 2 p.m. Free to Wet Dreamz Reloaded 2017 Passholders.
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