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December 29, 2006
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Volume 34
Issue 52
 
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Monday, Jan 20, 2020

 

 



 
The Saga Continues - Part III: The Summer of Pride Divide!
The Saga Continues - Part III: The Summer of Pride Divide!
by Nevin Jefferson - SGN Contributing Writer

View this portrait on a wall! Blacks in Africa stolen from their mother land, then, bought over to the United States to be sold as new plantation animals. Black women were raped, ravaged, ruined and - in some cases - left with a child that reminded them of their horror. Never the less, they raised them into a loving family -- in spite of the fact that the child was light, bright, and damn near white in a predominately Black complexion family.

Black men were forced to stud the women for a stronger breed of children to be sold -- in spite of the fact that they had husbands whom they had jumped the broom with. The Bible was used as ammunition in defense of slavery. 'The nerve of Blacks wanting freedom.' Fast forward to slavery ending with the lie they told to the Blacks of getting 40 acres and a mule. Instead they found themselves living with the reality of the Jim Crow days.

The Bible was used as ammunition fired in defense of Blacks not deserving any rights whatsoever. As far as most of society was concerned, Blacks were immigrants of unknown descent who had no classification. Fast forward to the fight for civil rights, started by church folks who were considered trouble-stirring radicals at the time. Signs with "God Hates Integration!" followed by signs of "N*! Burn In Hell!" were held up in protests against civil rights. Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy made civil rights a reality with Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Black Gay men and women fought for Gay rights along-side of their Gay brothers and sisters of every race and creed. That showed the true diversity of our community. Yet, once again, the religious-wrong, and broke-wing-simpletons used the Bible as ammunition against homosexuality. Signs with hateful banners that made God blush were on display and hate was being preached to the masses.

If this wasn't enough, Black Gay men and women are still frowned upon by the so-called Black church folks. Remember all of the horrid acts of racism, bigotry, discrimination, and hatred that Blacks fought their way through? Now, Black Gay men and women face the same racists, bigots, and hate filled folks that they went up against, but now in their own community and in the Gay community.

I've been told by people of every race and creed that the so-called Gay community is "the most racist community" there is. Changes are made from within the structure of mainstream society where the good fight was continued by members of the Black Panthers, activists, advocates, and the Black community who wanted better. Now, have Black role models who broke down all barriers and kicked open all of the doors.

Gay Black men and women feel alone, empty, and lost in both the Black and Gay community. They have a sense of not having anywhere to belong and call their own. Real shocker isn't it? I get pissed about it when bars have a no Black policy, when Blacks are not made welcome at events, affairs, and social functions. I get angry when I see members of the white persuasion turn their backs and walk away when a Black man or woman give greetings and salutations with an out stretched hand of friendship.

I experienced this behavior when I attended a SGN function at Manray. I really get livid whenever I find myself facing the same crop of racist crap all over again in this day in age. I leave all of this aggravating nonsense at the altar in the hands of God. This has been my strength, comfort, and peace in my battle as a Black man, Gay man, and HIV-positive man.

Seattle Black Pride came about years ago by a group of successful Gay Black men and women. There was no Black representation in the Gay community and they wanted to bring an end to this. The seed was planted as an idea, sprouted as a dream, and, then, bloomed into reality. Kiantha Ducan-Woods helped bring Seattle Black Pride into the world. Those who were true blue loved the idea of working on the party of all parties. A party to celebrate being Black, Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender was in the making. As time zipped by, the party became hard work. One by one, the numbers started dwindling down.

It was at this time when Kiantha turned Seattle Black Pride into an organization and an annual three-day Black Pride event. Over the past year, Kiantha had meetings with people over dinner or coffee, in her home or theirs. She also met them at Seattle Black Pride's monthly social events. She listened to all suggestions and concerns in regard to the Black LGBT community here in Washington. Today, Seattle/Tacoma Black Pride has positioned itself as an important voice of the Black LGBT community.

All of this came about from the monthly social events held by Seattle Black Pride that got them known in the community, while giving the Black LGBT community somewhere to go. It also allowed them to become a part of the organization, an organization they could call their own. Seattle Black Pride also got involved with the Black leadership to work on other issues, including HIV/AIDS and hunger.

On December 9th, 2005, Seattle Black Pride debuted with the social event "Taste of Life!" On February 11, 2006, the "Royal Valentine's Day" was held. On March 5th, 2006, a book reading and signing was held. On March 18th, 2006, a "Card Party at the Game Room" was held. "BID WHIZ!" -- my favorite of favorite card games that I don't get to play much here in Washington - was played at the card party. On May 13th, 2006, the "Taste of Tacoma Throw-Down" was held. On June 21, 2006, "Reign @ War Room" was held. On June 25, 2006, an "After Pride Parade T-Dance" was held after the Seattle Pride Parade where they were 92nd in the line-up.

SBP became involved with Out and Proud after being asked to join them. They weren't asked to participate in Queer Fest. You'd think that a representation of the Black community would be asked to join in the festivities. It was supposed to be a celebration of Pride and diversity of the Gay community. Kiantha believes that SBP was too new and wasn't known to the folks of Queer Fest. She strongly believes that SBP will be invited next year. Me? I believe that when you're putting together a representation of the Gay community, it should be a true representation of the Gay community. Those involved should make it their business to know who's who in the Gay community since this is whom they should have on display to be recognized and honored by their Gay peers.

Since there are two Black Lesbians who are the backbone of SBP, they should have been invited to join in and march in the Dyke march -- as well as the main event -- which was the parade. Enough said, okay?

This led up to the celebrations of all celebrations; "Seattle Black Pride" from July 21st-23rd. By this time, everyone was well aware of Seattle Black Pride as an organization and attended with bells, bangles, and bows. The event of events was held at the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center. On Friday, July 21st, a Black Pride V.I.P. reception was held. A kick-off celebration featured a fashion show, drag performances, Mr. and Ms. Seattle Black Pride, and guest speakers. The executive board welcomed everyone with cheer, Pride, and love for their fellow LGBT people. This was the event were Antrinette Trammell, head of security and logistics, met Mr. Saga himself. Of course, I wasn't on the list like every event that I attend. When I asked Trammell if she knew who I was? She replied: "Umm-Ump!"

It was Robert, my darling editor at the SGN who came to my rescue and vouched for me as a writer who has a pulse on the Gay community. This event was like all of the previous social events, which was a inclusive celebration for all. The opening night event was hosted by Xavier Onassis Bloomingdale's from Washington D.C.'s Club Chaos. It was a talent packed evening of entertainment with the exception of the "sissy" in a skirt rapping bad poetry accompanied by a piano. This was one of those acts where one goes to the bathroom and for a cigarette, which I did! Downstairs, a Friday night youth dance with Hip-Hop/R&B for Black Gay teens 16 & over was held. I checked this out during my self-proclaimed intermission.

On Saturday, July 22nd, panel discussions, workshops, and films were held at the Seattle Art Museum. Three Dollar Bill Cinema, organizers of the Seattle Gay and Lesbian Film Festival provided the Films. Thanks guys!

On Sunday, July 23, there was a praise and worship where the Seattle Black Pride Choir made their debut. They had Sunday films afterwards and a big BBQ in Pratt Park. This was a Black Gay family reunion where I was reunited with all of the Blacks that I've met here during my 12 years.

I don't know what it is about some of Washington's Gay and Lesbian Black folk who must have a phobia about picking up a telephone and calling someone or returning one's phone calls. I made this fact known to those who asked why haven't I called? I reminded them that I had left them a message, then, I stated the message verbatim.

Dr. Martin Luther King smiled down from heaven at the sight of Black, white, Hispanic, African, and Asian Gay children playing with one another. He had an even bigger smile on seeing our future generation of children -- from toddlers to teens -- playing together in a rainbow connection with race being the farthest thing from their minds.

Living up to their reputation for social events, a "Labor Day Party" was held on September 2, 2006. On October 28th, a very successful "Halloween Carnavale" was held. For those of you who missed out, you can get in on the fun happenings by ending this quicker-than-a-wink year at the New Year's Eve Red Carpet Event December 31st, 2006, at Richard Hugo House. Admission is $10.00 per person. Now, where can you go out to celebrate New Year's Eve for $10.00? Be there or be square! Enough said, okay?

So, who's on the board of SBP? Kiantha Duncan-Woods, board president, brings a wealth of leadership experience with diverse communities. Also, as a successful business owner, she has a lot of relevant skills with grant-writing, fundraising and community organizing. She is very passionate for community and the cause of Seattle Black Pride. She is also a very strong and compassionate individual, which was why the decision to elect Kiantha was uncontested by the committee members present and past.

Isaac Payne, board vice-president, is the very strong and commanding voice that gives value to accountability and commitment. He also brings compassion and caring qualities to the community that was amazing for making Seattle Black Pride a reality.

Harnik Gulait, board secretary, was born in India and raised in the U.S.--mostly Portland and Seattle. He joined at the beginning of the movement in 2005 as both a facilitator and community organizer. He's excited to be involved with Seattle Black Pride, because -- for both people living in Seattle and those moving here from other areas -- there needs to be a more visible, vibrant and cohesive community for Black people. A place people of color to feel welcome.

Trammell Antrinette, security and logistics, brings a wealth of experience and expertise working with security management and logistics. She has worked with various law enforcement agencies during her 12-year career in law enforcement and corrections.

The Seattle Black Pride committee is presently adding members to their board and invites interested people to contact them. They can also use volunteers as well as donations from businesses in the community. It would help if Microsoft and Miller Beer would donate to th

eir organizations like they do for other organizations in the community. Seattle Black Pride had a very good year with next year promising to be even better. The National Black Pride Organization, which charters all Black Pride Organizations nationwide, has a 2-year waiting period before included new groups in their charter. However, Seattle Black Pride did such an excellent that they're already a charter member after one year.

I'm going to become more involved with this excellent organization and help give back what was given to me in this community.
 

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