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Expo, community picnic and more on tap at SC Black Pride Week in Columbia

From left, Amanda Brown, Darius Jones, Anthony Beckett, and David Alexander at a past event.
From left, Amanda Brown, Darius Jones, Anthony Beckett, and David Alexander at a past event. S.C. Black Pride

S.C. Black Pride kicks off its 11th annual Black Pride Week on Thursday, Aug. 18.

“We do this for the community so we can celebrate the diversity of our community,” said Darius Jones, interim president of S.C. Black Pride. “Not just diversity, but the uniqueness of the LGBT black culture.”

The theme for the week is “Live Out Proud.”

“We’re all going to have a great time celebrating,” Jones said.

Among some of the events on tap:

▪ Welcome reception, 8-10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18 at Ms. Scottos, 8712 Two Notch Road. The official kick-off event will have free food, karaoke and a special $4 Rainbow Passion drink.

▪ Community Forum with Teach For America-PRISM: LGBTQ Youth in S.C. Schools, 7-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19 at Holiday Inn, 8105 Two Notch Road. This panel discussion will engage discussion about concerns and experiences of youth in South Carolina schools. “This is one of the events I’m most excited about,” Jones said.

▪ A community expo, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 at Meadowlake Park, 600 Beckman Road. The family event will have food, entertainment, vendors, health services, sporting events, a kids’ zone and more.

▪ Community picnic, 1-6 p.m. Sunday. Aug. 21 at Sesquicentennial State Park, 9564 Two Notch Road. There will be free food, games (including volleyball), canoeing and more. “We want everyone to come enjoy the picnic,” Jones says.

This is the 11th annual celebration, which began in 2006 as Black/Latino Gay Pride with guidance from the Carolina Black Pride Movement and Palmetto Umoja (Columbia).

“What we hope to get out of it is unity,” Jones said of this year’s event. “We want to let people know they need to be who they are. Live out proud and be themselves.”

For more information about South Carolina Black Pride and South Carolina BlackPride Week, go to www.southcarolinablackpride.com.