For 24 years, Los Angeles Black Pride and its signature party “At the Beach” have been held at Point Dume Beach in Malibu. This year, however, after the efforts of many community leaders, L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl (District 11) extended an invitation for this keystone event to move to Los Angeles and become the official closing event for 2012’s L.A. Pride festivities.
“This is a great opportunity to build a bridge with other LGBT communities of color and allies; to invite everyone to join our celebrations; to learn about our triumphs and past; and to unite towards diversity and change in the future,” said Marcus Smith, spokesman for Pride & Promote, the parent organization of LABP.
Held July 4-8, LABP weekend will center around ATB, which will be held July 7 at Dockweiler State Beach (12501 Vista Del Mar, Playa Del Rey). The Hilton Hotel at LAX will serve as the event’s host hotel, with deals for attendees starting at $89 per night.
Although this year marks a major change for the event, organizers are eager to honor LABP’s past as well as its future.
“We want to express our gratitude to the city of Malibu and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, because they have been there since the beginning, developing a unique relationship never to be forgotten,” said Paul Scott, president of Pride & Promote. “But this change truly is a big deal and a big day for our community!”
Scott shares more about the upcoming celebration.
Why is it so exciting that LABP is being moved?
Los Angeles Black Pride’s move from Malibu to Los Angeles is just another step in black same-gender-loving people coming out in our communities. The majority of African-Americans in Los Angeles do not live in Malibu, Silver Lake or West Hollywood—we live in Los Angeles or South Los Angeles. We live where blacks live, and having our Pride celebration in Los Angeles is us saying to Los Angeles as a whole that we are a part of the community and we are not going to hide ourselves in Malibu.
What are some other ways this year’s LABP is going to be extra special?
Los Angeles Black Pride is special every year because every year it’s the first time for some African-American lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender members of our community. From young adults to the elders, we all come out at different ages and stages in our lives, and Los Angeles Black Pride has been and will continue to be one of those our community can look forward to every year to be there and to welcome them with open arms.
What would you say to people who question why there’s a need for a specific LABP?
Black Pride celebrations throughout the nation highlight our culture and embrace not only the fact that we are same-gender-loving, but also the unique fact that we are African-American. Our traditions, language, music, food and everything that makes up who we are is celebrated in a way that emotes black pride. That’s why it’s called black Pride and not black gay Pride.
Why is it important that “Educate, Advocate, Celebrate” is the event’s tagline?
As people, we are always learning and evolving. Not only do we educate ourselves, but we are also educating others about who we are. We advocate on a daily basis in our communities—the black community and the gay community, where racism and discrimination are still big issues for people like us who are caught in the middle being both black and gay. Celebrate—well, that’s just what we do when we get together every year—celebrate the fact that we are alive and we are here.
What are some of your favorite stories from participants in past years?
There are so many stories to choose from. I’d probably say that my favorite stories include those where it’s someone’s first time and they are in awe of the many out and proud black same-gender-loving people laughing and partying and living their lives. No matter how old they are, that always moves me. To see the face of someone who has never seen that large a gathering of black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is always an emotional moment.
What advice do you have for first-year LABP attendees?
Be yourself. Come out and have a good time and make new friends.
Famous or not, who are some of your LGBT heroes/heroines of color?
Jewel Thais-Williams, Carl Bean, Jasmyne Cannick, Bayard Rustin, Barbara Jordan, Angela Davis—and the entire board of Los Angeles Black Pride, past and present.
What do you think everyone should know about LABP?
I want everyone to know that black Pride is an important event to Los Angeles’ black community, and that it celebrates all of who we are. It’s not an event to exclude anyone, but it is an event to embrace being black and being same-gender-loving. It’s important and it’s needed. I hope that people who love black people and read this article will decide to come out and support us this year as we celebrate 24 years of being black and gay.
For more details, visit myblackpridela.com.