Happy Black Gay Pride!!!

27 04 2012

This is my favorite weekend in Philadelphia. For at least the last 60 years, Black LGBT men and women would travel to our great City for the annual Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania (which have been celebrated since 1895). Even at turbulent times when it wasn’t safe to be Black or gay in America, our elders would gather in private homes and at the City’s finest ballrooms (in West Philadelphia) for the best parties, dinners, award shows and other happenings.

We continue that tradition today. During this weekend, the local family will come out–the weekly bar hoppers and socialites, as well as those who make an appearance once or twice a year. Many will visit Philadelphia for the Relays, and enjoy the host of parties planned by the Philadelphia black gay pride organization. Even the ancestors will gather–remembering when they were “there” and bidding wishes of fun, laughter, safety, responsibility and love to all of us .

If you’re in Philadelphia this weekend, there are plenty of opportunities to learn our history, while taking in the sights of Penn Relays and Black Gay Pride. Take lots of photographs. Make new friends. Meet your new lover. Network. Create new opportunities. Continue the tradition.

Philadelphia’s Social Scene for Black LGBTs: 1950s to the present, photography exhibit, FREE, now till 5/19,  click here.

Philadelphia Black Gay Pride weekend events, click here.

Former Miss West Set & Philadanco Founder Discusses Her Life in Dixon Gottschild’s New Book [1/14/2012]

13 01 2012

Brenda Dixon Gottschild, a supporter of the work of the Archivists Society, has written a new book that discusses the life and achievement’s of America’s Black Ballerina Joan Myers Brown. The book is entitled “Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina: A Biohistory of American Performance”. Brown is the founder of Philadanco and a former Miss West Set–a designation awarded to women of notoriety by the Gentlemen of the West Set. The West Set was one of Philadelphia’s first black gay organizations.

This Saturday, January 14, 2012, The Brother’s Network, will host a discussion featuring author Brenda Dixon Gottschild and Joan Myers Brown.

WHERE: Moonstone Arts Center, 110A South 13th Street, 2nd floor, Philadelphia WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, at 1 p.m. Contact The Brother’s Network for more information at comments@thebrothersnetwork.org .

The book description (from Amazon.com): “Founder of the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) and the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, Joan Myers Brown’s personal and professional histories reflect both the hardships and the accomplishments of African Americans in the artistic and social developments through the twentieth century and into the new millennium. Dixon Gottschild deftly uses Brown’s career as the fulcrum to leverage an exploration of the connection between performance, society, and race—beginning with Brown’s predecessors in the 1920s—and a concert dance tradition that has had no previous voice to tell its story from the inside out. Augmented by interviews with a score of dance professionals, including Billy Wilson, Gene Hill Sagan, Rennie Harris, Milton Myers, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Ronald K. Brown, Joan Myers Brown’s background and richly contoured biography are object lessons in survival—a true American narrative.”

RIP Robert K. Burns: friend, brother, fighter

8 12 2011

RIP Robert K. Burns

This morning, I learned of the death of our community leader, my brother and our fellow co-labourer, Robert K. Burns. He passed around 4:30am, surrounded by his friends and fellow members of the House of Blahnik.

Robert served the Philadelphia community by being a voice for many. He often echoed the call and sounded the horn on why we must lower HIV rates and remain community-minded throughout the stuggle.  I first learned of Robert K. Burns when I picked up one of his vogue-beat CDs over eight years ago, long before he and I would later become friends and “neighbors” in Philadelphia [and while I never joined a house or even vogued in public, I still “vogue down” when any of those songs from that CD come on my playlist]. Accepting that death is a functional part of life is reality. Accepting Robert’s passing is sobering.  Love and prayers to his family and the COLOURS organization.

Here’s more on Robert’s life: https://archivistssociety.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/presenting-community-leader-robert-k-burns/

PGN Family Portrait: http://www.epgn.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Family+Portraits-+Robert+Burns+&id=10691582#comments_10691582

Kevin Trimell Jones

December 8, 2011


Free Screening of ‘NO!’ with Aishah Shahidah Simmons (2/8/11)

8 02 2011

From the University of the Arts

Student Development & Activities welcomes Documentarian Aishah Shahidah Simmons for a viewing and discussion of her film No! The Rape Documentary. This groundbreaking award-winning documentary explores the international reality of rape and other forms of sexual assault through the first person testimonies, scholarship, spirituality, activism and cultural work of African-Americans. Winner of a Juried Award and an Audience Choice Award at the 2006 San Diego Women’s Film Festival and the juried Best Documentary Award at the 2008 India International Women’s Film Festival, NO! also explores how rape is used as a weapon of homophobia.

Location Information:
Main Campus – Dorrance Hamilton Hall  (View Map)
320 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Room: CBS Auditorium
Contact Information:
Name: Steve Scaduto
Phone: 215.717.6615
Email: sscaduto@uarts.edu

Elements Womyn of Color Conference begins Tomorrow, 10/7

6 10 2010

Featuring: Grammy Award winning artist  Dionne Farris,  Film Screenings | 17 Workshops | Meet the Board Event | Inter-Generational Brunch | & More!

Open House in Celebration of COLOURS and New Exec Director, Robert K. Burns, 10/7

6 10 2010

Join The COLOURS Orgainzation, Inc. for an open house and opportunity to meet its Board of Directors and the new executive director, Robert K. Burns. Burns is a dynamic man, and committed soldier in our community. When he’s not in Philadelphia, he’s advising the nation on best approaches to prevent HIV infections among Black gay and bisexual men. He also finds time to serve as a DJ within the Ballroom and House circuit, and at Shampoo Nightclub.

The open house is scheduled for Thursday, October 7, 2010 from 6-8 pm. COLOURS is located at 112 N. Broad Street  in Philadelphia.

Phila Celebrates its Pride with Flag Raising Ceremony above City Hall

6 10 2010

The month of October has been dedicated to LGBT history, and the city of Philadelphia is ready to celebrate. Mayor Michael Nutter is hosting the first Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony at City Hall. The ceremony will include remarks from Mayor Nutter and other community leaders, and performances from the Philadelphia Freedom Band, Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus and Philadelphia Voices of Pride.

Come out and celebrate. The Flag Raising is TODAY, Wednesday, October 6, 2010, at 1:30pm. It will take place at City Hall. Look for the gays and our allies in the northeast corner!