UPDATE!! The location for the Official Black Pride Festival on Sunday, August 19th (Noon-8pm) has changed to the Pride Center, 3738 Chouteau Drive!!!

 

The St. Louis Black Gay & Lesbian Pride Committee has teamed up with WPT Cares and Love HER STL to bring a weekend chock full of events, Aug. 17-19, 2018, to observe the area's official LGBTQIA+ Black Pride celebration. A full schedule can be found below.


"Black pride is very excited about this year's Black Pride weekend," said Randy L. Rafter, president of The St. Louis Black Gay & Lesbian Pride Committee. "As we continue to move forward in the movement it's important to be on one accord with the community we serve."

  BlackPride182
The weekend culminates with the annual Black Pride festival on Sunday which has moved from the Grove to Laclede's Landing (100 Washington Ave.) in the shadow of the Gateway Arch between 1st and 2nd streets downtown. The theme of this year's festival is "My Black Is Beautiful" and promises a celebration of centering and supporting African American LGBTQIA+ advocacy, music, entertainment, food, vendors and more.
 
Founded in 1994 as the BBoy Blues Festival, St. Louis Black Pride is the nation's second oldest African American pride organization. Their mission is to serve as a resource for the underserved LGBTQIA+ community and be a catalyst for unity, empowerment and pride.
 
That said, each year organizer's get asked the same questions from some in the community: Why is there a need for a separate Black Pride event? Aren't we all one LGBTQIA+ community and already have a Pride for everyone? St. Louis Black Gay & Lesbian Pride Committee Vice President Leon A. Braxton, Jr. spoke to the issue in an op/ed published exclusively in #Boom last year.
 
Braxton wrote, in part: "The Official St. Louis Black LGBTQIA+ Pride Festival gives black LGBTQIA+ individuals a chance to celebrate our unique heritage and culture. It gives those who are underserved a safe place of commonality and familiarity because of the lack of black representation among boards, staff and volunteers of LGBTQIA+ organizations. The black community, like other marginalized groups within the LGBTQIA+ communities, has varying strengths and struggles. One under-acknowledged event of historical significance to the black LGBTQIA+ community is the Harlem Renaissance Movement. Much like Stonewall, but many decades before, The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural explosion and new era for the African-American"
 
Braxton continued: "We as a community like to recognize our struggles, honor our accomplishments and empower ourselves for the future. Black Pride provides such a platform. It is Black Pride’s mission to be a resource for our black LGBTQIA+ community operating as a catalyst to uplift and empower our community. Just because we choose to celebrate with our own culture does not mean all are not welcome. To the contrary, Black Pride welcomes all people regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity."
 
For more information about St. Louis Black Pride, the festival or to volunteer please visit: blackpridestl.org. A list of this weekend's events is as follows: 
 
BlackPride18schedule
 
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