Philly Black Pride, formerly Philadelphia Black Gay Pride, started out 16 years ago as a series of secret parties in West Philly held in conjunction with the Penn Relays. Now it’s under the bright lights of the Kimmel Center for a Social Sunday bash catered by Iron Chef Jose Garces and featuring a performance by Dawn Richard.

“We deserve the best,” says organizer D’Ontace Keyes. “I enjoy seeing a lot of people come into the city; it’s very inspiring. We pretty much take over the city, take over the nicer venues, and we really make our presence known.”

Highlights, in addition to the Kimmel event, include a spoken word open mic at Ladder 15 on Wednesday; an awards reception Thursday at Miss Tootsie’s; and a Gentlemen’s Brunch and Ladies’ Luncheon on Saturday.

Think of it as an alternative to boozy pride events.

“We do it more so people of color can connect with each other without the flamboyance of pride parades,” Keyes says. “The beers and hot guys and barbecue events, we don’t see ourselves at.”

Philly Black Pride’s mission is to “transform the living and social environments of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people of color.” That doesn’t mean this is an exclusive party.

“We want people to experience the city and also connect with others, near and far, at these events,” Keyes says.

Just don’t ask where the keg is.


Philly Black Pride

Wednesday through Sunday

Various locations