Cincinnati Pride Festival, 2022. Herald file photo


Cincinnati Black Pride, a nonprofit that seeks to mobilize the Black LQBTQ+ community to promote the health, education and awareness as well as the social and cultural wellness of people living at the intersection of Black and LGBTQ+ identity, has announced the kick-off of Cincinnati Black Pride 2023: STEP UP/ PUSH BACK.

This is the fifth year of Pride programming, which focuses on the empowerment of the Black LGBTQ+ community.

The week kicks off with the BLACK WELLNESS IS BLACK PRIDE: A Town Hall on Wednesday, June 14 at 6 p.m. at the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, 3458 Reading Road.

Community leaders and allies are invited to join a panel discussion that addresses issues pertaining to the safety and wellness of the Black LGBTQ+ community. The panel moderator is Isaac Smitherman, University of Cincinnati Class of 2023 student body president, Class of 2023. Panelists include Kersha Diebel-Trotter, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio; Bryan Cannon, candidate for Cincinnati School Board; and Cincinnati Council Member Reggie Harris.

On Thursday, June 15, Cincinnati Black Pride is partnering with the Black Alphabet Film Festival (BAFF) for a one-day festival of films celebrating and showcasing Black LGBTQ+ life experiences. The festival highlights films by current and former Cincinnati residents, including the short film “Rainbow Box” by local and internationally recognized artist Michael Coppage. “Rainbow Box” is a community impact project centering and amplifying the voices of Black LGBTQAI+ individuals by sharing their stories through a series of interdisciplinary offerings.

The festival’s featured screening is “Black Rainbow Love” by former Ohio resident and award-winning filmmaker Angela Harvey. With a focus on representation and empowerment, “Black Rainbow Love” sheds light on the experiences, struggles and triumphs of Black LGBTQ+ individuals, highlighting their resilience and the richness of their identities.

The event also will include the screening of “Body Language,” a short film by Odu Adamu and “Dirty Laundry” by Maurice Jamal. “Body Language” explores body image and experience for Black Gay, queer and same-gender loving men.

Additional events include:
– On Friday, June 16, Cincinnati Black Pride will present the Vizazi Awards. In Swahili, Vizazi means generations, and the annual awards recognize local individuals who have contributed to the forward movement and growth of the BLACK LGBTQ+ community in Cincinnati. The awards ceremony will be held at the Par Project. 1646 Hoffner St.
– On Saturday, June 17, Cincinnati Black Pride will host the Blackout Dance Party at Esoteric, 918 E. McMillan St., from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., featuring two dance floors and two DJ’s: DJ Kaotic and DJ Fred Pierce.
– On Sunday, June 18, Cincinnati Black Pride will host the inaugural Rose Party at Knox Joseph Distillery @ Stillhouse OTR from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. .

For more information on Cincinnati Black Pride, visit:

For more information on the Black Alphabet Film Festival, visit:

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