Thousands of people flocked to the clubs, events, Piedmont Park and parties over Labor Day weekend to celebrate Atlanta’s Black Gay Pride, considered the largest in the nation.
The weekend started with a candlelight vigil sponsored by In the Life Atlanta, the sponsor of Black Gay Pride for the past 14 years. See a photo album of that event here.
There were community events such as the State of Black Gay America summit, sponsored by Xtreme Entertainment with keynote speaker Sharon Lettman, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, a national group focused on African-Americans and LGBT issues. A photo album from this event can be seen here.
The marketplace at the host hotel, Loews in Midtown, was also packed all weekend with vendors, HIV testing, and people mingling and reuniting. Georgia Voice also captured a photo of Lil Kim as she showed up at the hotel before her several performances that night for Black Gay Pride. Check out photos from the host hotel here and see Lil Kim as she arrives.
At first, it seemed Lil Kim was not going to appear this year for her second Pride, but after learning she was booked through an shady agent, she changed her plans to be in town for her appearances, according to the blog WhatstheT.com.
The National AIDS Education Services & Minorities, the Atlanta-based agency that celebrates 20 years, hosted the Prevention Pool Party in collaboration with In the Life Atlanta, Traxx and Wassup N Atl at the Piedmont Park pool. In addition to providing free HIV testing, the pool party also had the amazing Frenchie Davis perform several songs. To view photos from the pool party, click here.
However, it is the nightlife and the stars that promoters bring to Black Gay Pride every year that continue to bring people from out of state — and even from abroad — to Atlanta for some of the best parties and see some of the best entertainers.
Jenson Atwood, star of “Noah’s Arc,” was at Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse on Sunday to sign his new calendar and answer questions from the fans packed into the store. He acknowledged he’d had a late night on Saturday, hanging out at Traxx. You can check out photos from his appearance here.
And Saturday night at Traxx Night Club was an otherworldly experience where thousands of people packed into the 50,000 square-foot space to see red-hot rapper Nicki Minaj perform in a neon plum wig. Minaj also performed at the Georgia Freight Depot for Traxx Girls and tweeted she had never signed so many breasts before. From the Traxx stage she told her fans performing there was one of the best experiences she’d ever had. Her debut album “Pink Friday” drops Nov. 23. Read some of Minaj’s tweets about performing at Black Gay Pride in Atlanta:
“Really didn’t know Atl Gay Pride was gonna be that epic…Still in shock”
It was the best nite of my life!!!! 🙂 —-> RT @strawb3rryduhh: @NICKIMINAJ u tore ATL up last night!!!!!!1
Lmao! had fun 4 da 1st time in a LONG time!! > RT @Sbright19: @NICKIMINAJ Lawd I heard u had ppl fainting in ATL lol..causing mayhem!
To see photos of Nicki Minaj at Traxx performing click here.
Other major contemporary stars performing were Ciara, Tony Award winner Melba Moore, former American Idol winner Fantasia and former Destiny’s Child Kelly Rowland.
Rowland sang for the women at Compound but just walked on stage and said hello to the fans at the Atlanta Peach Ballroom after Fantasia sang several inspiring songs. See photos of Kelly Rowland and Fantasia here. Some video of Fantasia can also be seen here.
Fantasia, who recently was hospitalized for a suicide attempt, did not let her fans down. She sang with with heartfelt emotions and told everyone from the stage to not let anyone stand in the way of their destiny.
Sunday in Piedmont Park, where people visiting for Pride weekend like to go and hang out, was filled all day. Phillip Boone, CEO of Traxx Atlanta, said he’d never seen the park so full.
Amber Rose, model and “vixen” (and the ex of Kanye West) also showed up at packed Primal for a Traxx Girls event, taking photos with her fans after judging a wet t-shirt contest. Check out our photo album of that event here.
Top photo: Sunday in the Park drew an impressive crowd to Piedmont Park during Black Gay Pride (by Dyana Bagby)