Black Pride [Exhibit Panel]


Washington, DC has the longest-running and largest Black Pride in the United States. Black Pride began when the 1979 National Lesbian/Gay Third World Conference ended its meeting with a march by persons of color to the National Mall where they joined the March on Washington. This march was the first public demonstration by African-American Lesbians and Gays in the heart of the African-American areas of DC.

More than a decade later, on May 25, 1991, the Black Gay Pride Festival was launched at Howard University’s Banneker Field. Best Friends, an African-American AIDS support organization sponsored the event as a fundraiser for the city’s AIDS support groups. Memorial Day weekend was chosen for its significance in the African American GLBT community. From 1975 to 1990, the ClubHouse–DC’s leading Black Gay dance club–had sponsored a major social event over that weekend.

Black Pride remained at Banneker Field until 2000 when it moved to its new home in the city’s convention center.

Black Pride draws attendees from around the country who comes for a five-day celebration that includes dances, parties, artistic and cultural events, cruises and prayer breakfasts. The success of Washington, DC’s Black Pride has inspired more than 25 similar events in other cities and helped form the International Federation of Black Prides.





“Black Pride [Exhibit Panel],” Rainbow History Project Digital Collections, accessed February 29, 2024,

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