Five years ago, Black Pride RVA became the first Black LGBTQ event in the state of Virginia. Created and hosted by Us Giving Richmond Connections (UGRC), Black Pride RVA came into being in order to celebrate the unique intersection of identities experienced by all Black LGBTQ people, to promote equality for Black LGBTQ people within the broader Richmond community, and to work towards health equity for the Black LGBTQ community of Richmond and Virginia.
Black Pride RVA was created as a way to provide representation for a group that faces challenges and discrimination other groups don’t necessarily encounter. As UGRC founder Rev. Lacette Cross told GayRVA in 2018, “This is not a homogenous world, and LGBTQ people are not homogenous. We’re not all the same gay, the same bi, the same queer. There’s a beauty in our diversity.”
Cross also wants to make clear that Black Pride RVA is not just for Black LGBTQ people; the organizers definitely hope to see allies of all types coming out and celebrating alongside Virginia’s Black LGBTQ community. “One way we build strong allyship and relationships within our communities is to show up as your full, authentic self – ready to listen, help and enjoy a good time,” Cross told the Virginia Is For Lovers blog in an interview last month. “Always remember, celebrating Blackness is open to everybody and we at UGRC/Black Pride RVA are happy to see all of our white, Latinx, Asian, Biracial, multiracial siblings at any and all events. Do not let the divisive history of racism keep you from coming out to all the ways this annual weekend builds community and raises awareness through every amazing event the planning committee has put together.”
Five years after the first Black Pride RVA celebration — despite everything that’s been thrown at the Black and LGBTQ communities, as well as the world as a whole, in the meantime — Black Pride RVA has continued to grow and thrive. This weekend marks its fifth annual celebration, one that has grown to encompass five days and seven official events. The weekend kicked off on Wednesday, July 13, with an opening reception at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, featuring panels and Q-Talks.
Tonight, Black Pride RVA 2022 continues with the 2022 Legends Ball. Featuring legendary drag performer Kevin Aviance, this event is a celebration of “the people that paved the way for us to be here today.” This event, beginning at 7 PM Thursday, July 14, takes place at Diversity Richmond, located at 1407 Sherwood Avenue. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and available at Black Pride RVA’s Eventbrite page.
On Friday, July 15, UGRC will host the fourth annual Community Root Awards, an event created to “celebrate people who are doing work in our community to uplift, support, and amplify the lives of black LGBTQ people.” This event takes place at the Claude G. Perkins Living And Learning Center at Virginia Union University, which is located at 1813-1899 Bath St. Tickets are $20-$25, and can be purchased from Black Pride RVA’s Eventbrite page.
Then on Saturday, July 16 comes Black Pride RVA’s main event, the Day Of Purpose, which takes place at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Featuring a variety of local talents as well as nonprofit and small business vendors, the event is designed to improve the health and wellness of the entire community, and is family-oriented and free to attend. This event will run from 11 AM until 4 PM at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, located at 403 N. 3rd St.
Save some energy for the evening, too, because Black Pride RVA’s 2022 Block Party will take place Saturday night, beginning at 7 PM. This is a street party featuring DJs, food trucks, and a great time for people of all ages. This family-friendly event takes place at the corner of Altamont and Marshall Streets in Scott’s Addition, right beside Richmond Triangle Players.
Sunday, July 17 is the final day of Black Pride RVA’s 2022 slate of celebrations, but it’s got plenty to offer, beginning at 1 PM on Sunday with Pride In The Park. Taking place at Bryan Park’s Shelter 1, this event will be “a good old-fashioned cookout,” with food and water provided while supplies last. “Pride in the park is where our community comes together for fun, music and connection,” says Black Pride RVA, and everyone is encouraged to bring chairs and blankets and hang out for a lovely community-focused afternoon.
The final event of the year takes place Sunday night at 8 PM, and you had to know it was coming: It’s the 2022 Black Pride RVA After Party! Happening at The Broadberry, this event will close out the weekend in in proper fashion, with performances from singer MK xyz and DC-based DJ Syncere. Admission for this event is $20-$25, and tickets can be purchased at Black Pride RVA’s Eventbrite page.
Whether you hit every Black Pride RVA event taking place this weekend, or just one or two, support for this Black LGBTQ celebration is essential. As Rev. Cross pointed out when speaking to the Virginia Is For Lovers blog, “We like to remind everyone that Black Pride RVA weekend helps us raise nearly 60% of the income we need to continue offering programs throughout the year, and we welcome your donations and support.” If you’re interested in donating to UGRC and Black Pride RVA, opportunities to do so online can be found at BlackPrideRVA.com.