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The Black Pride Catalyst

DC Black Pride 2023

May 23, 2025. Starting 12:00 AM

For more than 30 years, DC Black Pride has been a place for the Black LGBTQIA+ community to gather and celebrate each other.

In 1991, Welmore Cook, Theodore Kirkland and Ernest Hopkins saw a need to rally the Washington, DC community around what was happening with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The effort they initiated to educate the community 30 years ago, has led to a movement that has impacted the lives of millions of Black LGBTQ+ individuals around the world.

The first DC Black Pride drew 800 people to Banneker Field, and centered around a theme of “Let’s All Come Together”. Since 1991, more than 900,000 members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community of African descent and their allies have come to Washington, DC during Memorial Day Weekend in the spirit of Black Pride to celebrate the beauty of the LGBTQ+ community and raise awareness and funding for HIV/AIDS.

While much progress has been made across the globe since 1991, there remains a need to educate the community about HIV/AIDS and stand against homophobia inspired violence and bigotry that remains prevalent throughout society. DC Black Pride helps fulfill this need.

DC Black Pride was the catalyst for what is now referred to as the Black Pride Movement. Since the birth of DC Black Pride, more than thirty other Black Pride celebrations now take place throughout the world, many using DC Black Pride as the model.


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