HYDE PARK — Pride South Side started as a small picnic in 2017 as a way for Black queer people and other LGBTQ people of color to celebrate Pride.
It’s since has grown to a full-scale festival, which returns Friday through Sunday at the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center and other venues across the South Side.
“This is about making intentional spaces for Black and other people of color who are also queer,” said Jae Rice, Pride South Side co-organizer and a DJ known as DJ Dapper. “A lot of the different Pride celebrations, especially from last weekend, happened up north, so we’re creating space on the South Side, which has one of the biggest concentrations of Black queer people in Chicago.”
Anchoring the three-day event will be the Pride South Side festival from noon-5 p.m. Saturday outside the DuSable, 740 E. 56th Place, Rice said. But other events will be held throughout the weekend for people to celebrate.
The festival will feature tents from various organizations, including the Brave Space Alliance and E3 Radio, a local online radio station dedicated to featuring queer and independent music, Rice said. Various community leaders and elected officials will also be in attendance to discuss what issues are important to Black queer people in Chicago.
The festival will have a stage with musical performances, including sets from Rice, DJ Cash Era and more, Rice said.
Other events include:
- A Black Pride Kick-off Party 9 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday at the Haven Event Center, 932 E. 43rd St., featuring a performance by rapper Kid Kenn.
- Exhale, a dance party celebrating self love, body positivity and confidence, which is happening 9 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday at Room43, 1039 E. 43rd St.
- The Annual White Party, presented by Always Gentlemen, happening 9 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday at the Haven Event Center, 932 E. 43rd St.
- UBUNTU in the Park, a day of worship, celebration and reflection happening noon-7 p.m. Sunday at the DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Place.
- The Chi Black Pride Mini-Ball, happening 7 p.m. Sunday to midnight at the Haven Event Center, 932 E. 43rd St.
Having LGBTQ Pride events on the South Side makes the celebration more accessible to people who don’t live on the North Side, where most of Chicago’s Pride events are held, Rice said.
“This means accessibility,” Rice said. “We don’t have to travel up North to Northalsted to get a sense of queer pride and gay pride. We can do it right here in our backyard, and it’s going to bring forth a different type of community that we’re not able to see up North.”
The event also aims to celebrate Black queer people as leaders in the LGBTQ liberation movement, Rice said.
“Black people and people of color have been instrumental in the gay rights movement, but it’s an area where we haven’t gotten the acknowledgement we deserve,” Rice said. “Black queer people and Black trans people are always at the forefront of liberation, so to give our community that acknowledgment is an important and vital part of this weekend.”
Pride South Side will also show that Pride should be celebrated year-round and not just in June, Rice said.
“We’re saying ‘Pride Ain’t Over’ because it’s important for folks to get used to us being prideful all year round,” Rice said. “People will see a different type of Pride, but it’s an important one because there would be no Pride season without Black queer and trans people.”
Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.
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