A Playlist For Pride

Remember Your Roots In Black Queer Activism

By VICKY CARMENATE, Assistant Arts & Culture Editor

How Pride Started

Today, Pride is centered around rainbow flags, drag and parades, but what we fail to remember are the riots that allowed the community to be able to celebrate this way. The Stonewall Riots, with which many are familiar, sparked the revolution for the LGBTQ community. What often gets left out is the acknowledgment of who started it all — the Black queer community.

Marsha P. Johnson

When Marsha P. Johnson, a Black transgender activist and self-proclaimed drag queen threw the first brick at the police at The Stonewall Inn, she stood up for every queer brother and sister around her. Her courage, and many other Black queer people’s courage, is the reason that we all get to celebrate Pride today. 

Her advocacy reached no barriers, as she was someone who accepted everyone as they are. She also spoke out about aggressive policing, which we remain fighting against now.

You can donate to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute here

Understanding LGBTQ+ History

In our mainstream media, there is an abundance of terms and actions that many believe to be coined by white gays but which actually originated in Black ball culture. Balls were a place that queer Black and brown people could express themselves through different categories of performance

To truly celebrate Pride, you must fully know the history of the movement. To be a part of the culture means learning about every part of it. A great way to do so digitally is to support Black queer artists in any form. Music, visual art, makeup, fashion, photography, movies — there are plenty of ways to educate yourself while also consuming beautiful Black art. 

Here is a playlist that highlights Black queer artists in the music industry — old and new.