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Posted at 12:35 PM ET, 05/26/2006

Taking Pride

By Fritz Hahn

This weekend is the annual D.C. Black Pride, with a full slate of symposiums, meetings and parties lasting through Monday. The hub of activity is the festival's host hotel, the M Street Hotel (formerly the Wyndham City Center), but events are taking place across the city.

The central event is the outdoor Black Pride Festival, a huge gathering on the site of the old Washington Convention Center. It's a bazaar-like mixture of booths promoting health organizations, vacation spots and entrepreneurs, and there will also be food vendors, book signings, a DJ-fueled dance tent and live entertainment, including an appearance by soul singer Vivian Green. It opens at noon, and admission is $12.

Republic Gardens is hosting a "for the ladies" event on Friday night with the hot soul-jazz group Fertile Ground, followed by dancing to DJ India's mix of hip-hop, house and R&B. Fertile Ground got its start in Baltimore but has wowed crowds from London's Jazz Cafe to the Blue Note in Tokyo. DJ India is the host of the "Secret Sundays" lesbian party at Bar Nun. Doors open at 8 with staggered pricing: $10 until 9, then $15 until 11, and $20 afterwards.

Rhome's take on Red Hott, the "Strickly Hip-Hop Xplosion" at the 9:30 club on Saturday night: "It's good to see some rap artists aren't homophobic." You could argue that Naughty By Nature, who haven't had a genuine hit for a decade, would be willing to play your family reunion at this point, but to do so would miss that this is a big concert in a scene that traffics almost exclusively in macho posturing, and it's being held at the best venue in town. In addition to Treach and Vinnie, you'll get DJs Markie B, Mario and Unknown spinning club bangers, plus a team of go-go dancers. This 18-and-over show starts at 11 and runs until 5 a.m.

Before "Noah's Arc" got a regular place in the lineup of the Logo Network, the drama about four gay Los Angeles men was screened at Black Pride celebrations across the country. The D.C. Black Pride film festival mixes one feature-length presentation -- "Dirty Laundry," sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign -- with an afternoon of shorts and documentaries. "Dirty Laundry" director Maurice Jamal and actress Jenifer Lewis will participate in a question-and-answer session after the film's 3:30 screening. Admission to all films is $15, and more information about the lineup is available here.

The Soul on Fire Poetry Slam is open anyone who wants to read for up to three-and-a-half minutes, and is hosted by out-of-towners ButtaFlySoul (from New York) and Summer (from Chicago). Signup begins at noon Saturday in the M Street Hotel's hospitality suite, and only the first 15 people to put their names down will be guaranteed a spot in the slam, so get there early; there's a $250 prize for the winner of the two-round competition. If you'd rather listen than speak, the doors open at 8.

The weekend's festivities wrap up Monday with a day-long "Cool Out Party" at Fort Dupont Park, with drag queens, live music, dancing, volleyball, a picnic and other outdoor options. The free party -- advertised as an event for men and women -- begins at noon and lasts until dusk.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | May 26, 2006; 12:35 PM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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Comments

Thank you for taking the time to post this information on your blog. Much obliged!

Posted by: Kevin | May 26, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for blogging my party at Republic Gardens. Blush Entertainment hosts a women's party there every last Friday of the month. With so many parties and events for DC Black Pride, I definitely appreciate the support!

Posted by: Anna B. | June 1, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

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