Friday, June 17, 2005

Why Black pride

Why Indiana Black Pride? The question "Why Indiana Black Pride?" did not occur to me until I heard rumors that some people thought Black Pride would detract from Indy Pride and that there was a rivalry between the two Prides. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a member of both. I know that Gary and Robert are in complete agreement that Black Pride is an addition to, and not a detraction from Indy Pride and the community. Why should we only have one celebration each year? Why not two? Why not more?America, for better and for worse, is composed of an African-American community and a "white" community that encompasses almost everything else.
There are, of course, many other communities that make up our nation, but, from the earliest days of European immigration to this continent, the African-American community has had a special place in our formation and growth. There are, of course, many components of the Black community; so many and so varied that almost anything you say about it is at the same time true and not true. But there is a strong sense of community overall and the contributions of that community over the centuries to American culture are defining. There is no American culture, be it dance, music, poetry, literature, art, theater or what have you, that is not profoundly marked by African-American influence. At the same time, Black American culture, although it may have African roots that would surprise most of us, remains essentially American. To understand America, you must begin with the divisions and unities of Black and White.

So it is with Indy Pride and Indiana Black Pride. We all know that African-Americans contributed mightily to Pride last weekend, both as participants and as visitors. I do not remember such a turnout last year and I believe that much of the increase was attributable to IBP, the organization, and the buzz they have created. Indiana Black Pride, the festival, August 5th, 6th and 7th will be, at the same time, an African-American gift to Indianapolis, a show that offers something different from the show that was Pride, a chance for Black GLBT folk to invite us to their neighborhood, for a good time and to help them make a statement in their own community.Sadly, although we recognize the extreme similarity between the Civil Rights Movement of the fifties, sixties and seventies and the Civil Rights Movement of the 2000s, Black churches and much, too much, of Black society remains extremely conservative and oppressive of their GLBT relatives and neighbors. Black GLBT folk have too often felt rejected or invisible in the GLBT community and rejected and invisible in the Black community. Indiana Black Pride is an effort to overcome both problems. I cannot see how anyone would not wish to respond and to help, especially as the only thing you have to do is go and have a good time.So join us on August 5th, 6th and 7th and have a great time. For details please go to:


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