Thursday, May 01, 2008

And now for something completely different

Usually I talk about the anti-gay industry, but today, I want to spotlight the efforts of the lgbt of color community in South Carolina.

South Carolina Excited about Third Black Pride

The African-American lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of South Carolina and its allies will be out and proud during the month of June as the state holds its Third Annual SC Black Pride, June 25-29, 2008 in Columbia, SC.

With a provocative theme of “Black Pride: 365,” it promises to be better and bigger than the groundbreaking first and second prides. Organizers anticipate a record 2,000 South Carolinians and out-of-town guests will participate in its many special events, official parties, and a Community Expo.

The official week begins Wednesday, June 25th with a “Welcome Reception” at the chic Tappas Bar and Restaurant, Club Hush (1004 Gervais.) It will reach a climax at the day-long Community Expo on Saturday, June 28th, 11- 5:30 PM, at the Margarette Miller Center (1509 Fontaine Rd), and the “Community Awards and Jazz Reception”, on Sunday, June 29th, 3-5pm, Eau Claire Print Building (3909 Ensor Ave.) Featured at the Expo will be a bevy of local talent and a few rising stars.

To further stir up the buzz there will be “fun-raisers” leading up to Black Pride including:

Friday, May 16th – Pre-Black Pride Party during SC Black Expo (Club Fusion)
Sunday, June 15th – Free Volunteer Training & Appreciation Dinner, 6-8pm (Harriet Hancock Center)
Wednesday, June 18th – Pre-Black 70’s Party (Club Fusion)

“Our purpose is to celebrate the often subjugated creativity, beauty, dignity, and brilliance of South Carolina’s Black LGBT community,” says Dr. Todd Shaw, Chair, of the SC Black Pride Committee. “The double whammies of racism and homophobia attack we same-gender loving sisters and brothers. And now’s the time the Black community understand how much we contribute to the larger freedom struggle and the larger society understand how much we contribute as loving mothers, fathers, teachers, preachers, and young leaders.”

Speaking of preachers, one of the events that promises to be highly informative is the Thursday, June 26th, 7:00-8:30pm, Town Hall Debate at the University of South Carolina Law School Auditorium: “Because the Bible Told Me So: Is Homosexuality a Sin?” WIS News 10 anchor Craig Melvin has agreed to serve a moderator. Among an exciting and diverse panel of ministers and theologians will be the dynamic Bishop Tonyia M. Rawls, one of the first two women newly elevated to bishop in the Unity Fellowship Church Movement --- the largest Black gay-led Christian Church in the United States. Bishop Rawls believes, “I look forward to an open dialogue where we really have an opportunity to explore how together as a community we can move to place of being more affirming, welcoming, and supportive of families [lgbt and otherwise] as a whole.”

All are welcomed! To learn more about this Pride’s many empowering events refer to:

South Carolina Black Pride
P.O. Box 8191
Columbia, SC 29202;

Anyone seeking more information can call Todd Shaw at 803-799-9190.