Black Pride Returns

This weekend is the first Austin Black Pride in over 10 years

It’s been more than 10 years since Black Pride paraded here in Austin. But this weekend all of that is about to change thanks to a conversation that began between three friends last December.

The 1st Annual Austin Black Pride (Photo courtesy of Austin Black Pride)

“We weren’t being represented at Pride in a way that was accurate,” says Jeremy Teal, one of the five core members of Austin Black Pride. Teal is also known throughout town as the event specialist at the Q, and director of Beyond Brothas – a local social group for black, queer men. “So some of us [at Beyond Brothas] started brainstorming.”

They looked at other black pride-like events in Houston and Dallas, and quickly decided it was time to “get out there and not wait,” says Teal. With the help of local organizations – including the Q, T.E.N.T., and Project Transitions – the Austin Black Pride crew was able to create a four-day-long queer people of color celebration.

Dubbed Relay Revel, Black Pride is opening up an umbrella for the entire QPOC spectrum. Each event – which can be found in this week’s Gay Place column – will mix ages, races, and genders. The creators have also worked to make sure black-owned businesses are highlighted and connections can naturally form. “It’s about starting a space to have people that understand you,” says Teal. “A place where you don’t have to explain yourself.”

Happening this weekend, the team behind ABP singled out March 31-April 3 because of the coinciding track and field competition known as the Texas Relays (hence the weekend’s title). According to Sheldon D. McNeal, co-founder and project director of Austin Black Pride, the relays have “become a social destination for young African-Americans. A number of groups organize networking and development events for African-Americans to take place in Downtown Austin [during this weekend]. Also, this is the same weekend that the original Austin Black Gay Pride was held, so it holds some tradition value too.”

Photo courtesy of Austin Black Pride

Teal is enthusiastic about this first Pride, and the years to come. “The last [Black] Pride was held in 2004, and the city’s changed a lot in those 10-plus years, but people want this. Our goal is to not let it end.” But, unlike Austin late summer Pride, ABP will offer a more intimate celebration. Teal confirms that there won’t be a parade or a march. Instead, this new variety of the LGBTQ pride will focus on community building and people basking in the glow of Austin’s QPOC community.

“People should expect to be surrounded by people of color who are unapologetic about who they are. But we absolutely welcome everyone. Allies can learn from us to be better allies, and we can help them attain that. This is a place for everyone to learn and grow, and of course have fun!”

The majority of Relay Revel's events will happen Saturday at 'Bout Time II, but they'll also be hosting a happy hour tonight at Side Bar, and Brunch with Beyond Brothas on Sunday. Free HIV testing will be available throughout the weekend.

Got opinions about drag performers, queer events, local activists, and everything else good in Austin? Let your voice be heard in our annual Best of Austin ballot. Voting is open now!

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Sarah Marloff
Qmmunity: Queers Who Inspire Us
Qmmunity: Queers Who Inspire Us
Plus trans-centric theatre, queer comedy, and the return of aGLIFF

Aug. 16, 2019

Death Watch: 11 Face Execution in Coming Months
Death Watch: 11 Face Execution in Coming Months
A quiet summer gives way to a deadly fall

Aug. 16, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Austin Black Pride, Black Pride, QPOC, Austin QPOC, Pride

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Time to vote! Best of Austin 2019 balloting is underway   VOTE NOW