Directors call latest celebration a ‘pivotal year’
compiled by Q-Notes Staff
LGBT supporters of Barack Obama.
COLUMBIA — Guided by the theme “Celebrate Love,” a crowd numbering in the thousands convened in South Carolina’s capital city June 18-24 for the second annual Columbia SC Black Pride celebration.
This celebration of black gay culture in the Carolinas featured an HIV/AIDS Community Service Awards Ceremony, a town hall meeting, black pride expo, a worship service and Pride parties featuring Alex and Wade — cast members of the LOGO network’s “Noah’s Arc” series.
Some of the week’s highlights included presentations by supporters of Bill Richardson’s and Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaigns at the Black Pride Expo, the historic participation of black gay fraternities and sororities, national sponsors and partners like Human Rights Campaign, International Federation of Black Prides, Inc., Democratic National Committee, Service Members Legal Defense Fund, Stonewall Democrats & LOGO Network.
Panelists at Pride Town Hall Meeting.
“Our Black Pride 2008 theme is ‘Black PRIDE 365,’” says says Columbia SC Black Pride founder/president Jermaine Lee. “Our goal is to usher in a momentum and spirit of Black Gay affirmation and visibility that will infectiously spread throughout the community. This goal will be facilitated by the various events and programs planned for the reminder of 2007 and the Winter/Spring of 2008.”
“This was a pivotal year for our organization,” says Columbia SC Black Pride/Carolinas Black Pride Movement Board Director Nicky Dixon. “We had the challenge of building upon the
Guests at the Pride Town Hall Meeting.
success of 2006 without overwhelming this very fragile community. African-American gays and lesbians in Columbia have never been presented with affirming events and programs that take place in the daytime. They are use to coming out in the cloak of the night — literally and figuratively. The work that we are doing is slowly tearing down the wall of stigma and shame that imprisons black same-gender-loving folk in South Carolina. With each endeavor, we help lead some new person to their personal freedom. From the feedback we’ve received, I’m proud to say that this week-long event has served as emancipation for many.”