Philly Black Pride celebration inspired a fresh sense of empowerment, awareness and community participation during this year’s festivities with PBP’s first parade and rally for racial equality within the LGBTQ community.
The celebration kicked off April 27 with the raising of the Pride flag with the addition of two new colors, black and brown, symbolizing the city’s inclusion of people of color in the LGBTQ community. The revitalized flag was created by the Office of LGBT Affairs’ “More Color, More Pride” campaign.
Next came the march, under the rubric “Unchained: A Revolution of Love,” beginning at the Aloft Hotel and ending near City Hall. The parade is the newest addition to the five-day celebration.
Mayor Jim Kenney was one of the guest speakers of the Unchained march, where he affirmed the need for “holding and creating spaces that celebrate identities across a myriad of communities.” Parade leaders urged the allocation of more resources from local government sources for LGBTQ community members affected by homelessness, hunger and income disparities.
First-time PBP attendee Donte Holland, 29, said he felt a sense of pride while being a part of the inaugural parade.
“Being a black man and a gay man [marching] felt surreal,” Holland said. “It felt good to stand up in my black and gay identity.”
Holland, along with the other parade-goers, chanted “I’m proud of my black skin” as they marched with parade organizer Antar Brush, PBP president Le Thomas, and guest speakers Asa Khalif from Black Lives Matter and the executive director of the mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, Amber Hikes.