Pride Month is often celebrated in June with rainbows and what some deem as easy-to-criticize consumption of branded products. However, Memorial Day weekend also acts as a days-early celebration of Black LGBTQ+ communities through DC’s Black Pride.
Black Pride weekend kicked off on May 26 — its first fully in-person events in three years since the COVID-19 pandemic — with a Black, Gay and Thriving event focusing on the work of gay people of color by highlighting their professional success.
The event, hosted by the D.C. organization Gay Professional Men of Color, provided an opportunity to see what a “full rainbow of success” looks like for the Black community.
“Far too often do we look to those outside of our community to dictate what ‘success’ looks like, how to get there, when we already have amazing examples within our community,” the organization said in a news release. “As gay, professional men of color we have made great strides across all career fields from medicine to sports, politics to entertain, and the arts to education.”
Aside from appearances like popular rap artist Saucy Santana, the District event offers a place for Black LGBTQIA community members to celebrate what has since become the Black Pride Movement.
That movement, 30 years after the first DC Black Pride at Banneker Field in the early 1990s, has continued to grow inside and outside of the region, leading to similar events across the U.S.
Monday is the final day of Black Pride events. The full schedule is available at DC Black Pride’s website and includes programming such as a festival in Fort Dupont Park.
You can also read more about pride and its connection to Black gay activism at the Brookings Institution.