I am pleased to take this opportunity to congratulate Courtney Snowden, Ray Daniels and the Washington D.C. Black Lesbian & Gay Pride Day, Inc. (DC Black Pride) committee on the occasion of their 18th Annual Black Gay Pride.
DC Black Pride is a proud member of the International Federation of Black Prides, Inc. (IFBP) along with Toronto, Canada; Boston; New York City; Pittsburgh, Baltimore; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Columbia, South Carolina; Jacksonville; Nashville; Memphis; New Orleans; Jackson, Mississippi; Charlotte; Tampa; St. Louis; Chicago; Detroit; Indianapolis; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Dallas; Los Angeles; Seattle; Portland, Oregon; San Diego; and Johannesburg, South Africa.
The IFBP is a 501(c)(3) organization and a coalition of black pride organizers formed to promote a multinational network of LGBT/Same Gender Loving Pride and community-based organizations dedicated to building solidarity, promoting unity, and ensuring the development of education, economic empowerment, and individual and collective work, responsibility, and self-determination. The mission of the IFBP is to build awareness of and pride in the diversity of the black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
DC Black Pride has the distinction of being the first Black Pride ever formed when Theodore Kirkland, Ernest Hopkins and Welmore Cook came up with the concept over eighteen years ago. I had the privilege of serving as president for seven years and I am still amazed at the number of people who come to D.C. each year to enjoy this event. This year's theme is ''18: Empowered and Poppin'' reflects both longevity and excitement.
DC Black Pride has led the way for over thirty Black Pride events around the world and continues to be one of the premier events for the Black LGBT community in the United States. I know that all attendees have a fantastic time and know that DC Black Pride is the only place to be on Memorial Day weekend.
D. Fowlkes, Jr.