Nashville Black Pride celebrates life and culture in their 11th year

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Nashville Black Pride celebrates its eleventh year of pride and progress October 18-20. While most pride events have become a one-day festival of parties and parades, Nashville Black Pride has preferred it’s three day format, which allows for greater inclusion of art and cultural events while still throwing can’t miss parties and mixers.

According to Dwayne Jenkins, Executive Director and President of Nashville Black Pride, the event’s mission is to “bring together African-American and other Same-Gender Loving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people of color in a non-threatening setting to uplift, educate and present positive images that help empower, affirm and maintain a healthy, productive community.”

This year’s theme, Celebrating 11 years of Life and Culture, focuses on presenting workshops for greater health and social empowerment, alongside cultural events that highlight the historical and current achievements of figures in the Black LBGT community.

It’s going to be a very busy three days.

The event kicks off with a reception at Atmalogy, where Brothers and Sisters United (BASU), the organization that presents Nashville Black Pride, will honor individuals and businesses who, since the organization’s inception in April 1996, have maintained at least a 10-year working relationship with BASU and Nashville Black Pride. The recipients of the 2013 BASU Legacy Awards are: Carlton Wilkinson, Out & About Nashville, Eddie Tray Walker, Pam Wheeler, Keith Hinkle, Christopher Goodwin, Mark Hubbard and Reduell Crowder. 

“Recognizing these honorees for years of collaborative efforts is very special because it allows us the opportunity to say thanks and shows that local LGBT partnerships do have longevity,” says Jenkins.

Other events throughout the weekend include: Friday night kickoff party at Vibe, workshops, a town hall meeting, book signing, free and confidential HIV screening and vendors at Nashville CARES Saturday afternoon plus Tastee Treasure, an exciting benefit party Saturday night at Vibe, which features an underwear fashion show.

On Sunday, the 11th Annual Black LGBT Film & Cultural Fest closes out the weekend at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. Scheduled highlights include the official premiere of StudZmen the Movie and the exclusive first episode from the new Nashville-based web series, What's Next. Other screenings include a trilogy of Jeff Ingram's LaFontaine series and a special Q & A DeAndre Lemans, Nico from the web series FreeFall. Lemans will also be the celebrity host for Nashville Black Pride.

The headline entertainment for Nashville Black Pride is Monte St. James, Mr. All-American Gent 2013- 2014 & Mr. Black National 2012-13. Additionally on Saturday, there will be a panel of distinguished guests on hand who are featured in the 100 Most Influential Gay Entertainers, Volume 2, including the owner of Mac Productions, Ivy White, D-Luv, Jordan Allen—all of whom are from Nashville.

Nashville Black Pride attendees will also have the chance to visit 30 Americans, a brand new exhibit at The Frist Center. 30 Americans, is an engaging and thought-provoking exhibition composed of more than 70 objects—paintings, sculptures, photographs, and multi-media installations—created by many of the most important African American artists working over the last 30 years, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat. The exhibit is free with a coupon which will be available at all Nashville Black Pride events, as well as their website and social media sites.

All Nashville Black Pride activities are open to everyone, regardless of race, gender, or orientation. For more information or full event schedule as it's unveiled go to nashvilleblackpride.org or visit them on Facebook or Twitter.