While Pride month is typically celebrated in June, Charlotte’s Black LGBTQ+ community hosts a week-long event from July 16 through July 23, chock full of events for the greater Charlotte community.

Charlotte Black Pride is a 501(c)-3 made of volunteers dedicated to “promoting a positive image of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex or asexual (LGBTQIA) gendered entities of color,” according to its website.

Miles Perry, CBP Youth Coordinator Liaison, said recognizing the Black, queer trailblazers of the past, celebrating the progress made and acknowledging the work that’s left to be done are all crucial to encompass the real meaning of Pride.

“All queer prides … especially in the States would not take place without Black Queer people showing pride or showing resistance … and showing community,” Perry says. “So having that space and having that community to say, we see you … we’re about fostering your growth and your love and enjoyment is always necessary.”

This year’s theme for Charlotte Black Pride is “Black Renaissance: Made for Now,” and it is meant to recognize the resilience and contributions from the Black LGBTQ+ community. Each day of the week includes a different event, from the Mr. and Ms. Charlotte Black Pride Pageant to the Summer Renaissance Mini Ball.

“We’ll have local singer-songwriters,” offers Jermaine Lee, the development director and one of the original founders of Charlotte Black Pride. “And fashion designer Tevin Baskerville will be there.”

Additionally, LGBTQ+ Charlotte City Council members LaWanna Mayfield, Braxton Winston and Dante Anderson will appear for a discussion about the current political environment, how it is impacting the LGBTQ+ community and what actions we can take to protect our community.

“People are feeling like, ‘what’s happening, and what do I need to do?’” Lee explains. “Hopefully this will provide some answers they recognize and how to be a part of that change. Freedom ain’t free, and we have to be vigilant.”

Lee further elaborates on the theme of the event: “’Black Renaissance: Made for Now’ is reflective of what’s going on culturally here and in other places. All of the coolest, cutting edge events going on right now are being spearheaded by Black Queer folk. It’s a a lot like the Harlem Renaissance, and the community is flourishing. All of the positive energy is recharging, inspiring and energizing us. We want folks to come out and be a part of that excitement.”

Here is a schedule of the events for Charlotte Black Pride 2023:

July 16: Mr. and Ms. Charlotte Black Pride Pageant

An annual tradition, the pageant highlights drag queens and kings of color and allows them to showcase their craft to a wider audience. The prize for winning is $150, five bookings and an additional $150 at give up, according to the flier for the event.

The event will be at IV Stones Event Center with doors opening at 7 p.m. Entrance to the pageant and the after party will cost $10 each.

July 17: Made for Now Wellness Party

CBP will be hosting a wellness party from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. on July 17 at the Visual and Performing Art Center. The party will include yoga sessions, aerobics, reiki, massage therapy, tarot card readings and more!

July 18: Made for Now Peace Rally and Demonstration

A demonstration and peace rally will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 18 at First Ward Park in Charlotte. The rally is meant to “celebrate brilliant members of our community while strengthening the bond of community,” according to the organization’s community calendar.

July 19: Black Renaissance: Film Noir

In collaboration with life coach and film maker Angela Harvey, CBP will host a screening of Harvey’s film ‘Black Renaissance’ from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Johnson C. Smith University Grimes Lounge. Complimentary drinks and snacks will be served. Mary Crisp Building, 100 Beatties Ford Rd. 

July 20: Centerstage: Summer Renaissance

As a part of the theme of renaissance, CBP is putting on a tribute to Beyonce titled Centerstage: Summer Renaissance. The tribute is set to highlight the contributions of Queen Bey herself, with live performances and visual art. Tickets to attend will be $20.

July 21: The Link Up: CBP Meet n’ Greet Reception

The reception will take place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Fairfield Inn & Suites allow people to meet the CBP board. The event is free and will feature food trucks, a live DJ and more.

July 22: CBP Expo Extravaganza and the Summer Renaissance Mini-Ball

The expo serves as the CBP’s most anticipated event of the week, with many entertainers and vendors for everyone! It will be followed by a “Kiki” style ball, which will feature dance competitions and more!

July 23: The Family Reunion

The last event of the week will serve as a cookout of sorts — a great community with a side of hotdogs, spades, a DJ and more! The Family Reunion will take place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Veteran’s Park.

David Aaron Moore is a former editor of Qnotes, serving in the role from 2003 to 2007. He is currently the senior content editor and a regularly contributing writer for Qnotes. Moore is a native of North...

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