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[Photos] 2012 Black Gay Pride in pictures

The 2012 Black Gay Pride festival was held in Atlanta over Labor Day Weekend and featured dozens of events, from afternoon pool parties to the annual State of Black Gay America Summit. GA Voice was on-hand throughout the weekend and participated in the first-ever Pure Heat Community Festival, held Sunday, Sept. 2 in Atlanta's Piedmont Park.

Pure Heat Community Festival part 1

Pure Heat Community Festival

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2012 Black Gay Pride Calendar

Black Gay Pride Fall Mini Ball

Black Gay Pride over Labor Day Weekend is one of the busiest times in the LGBT year. While In the Life Atlanta is the official governing body of Black Gay Pride, several local promoters offer a full weekend of events.

See what’s happening each day, or find your favorite promoter by color.

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Atlanta police: Robbery, not hate crime, likely motive for killings after 2010 Black Gay Pride

Derrick Dnorris Burden

Atlanta police do not believe sexual orientation played a role in the deaths of two men who were slain after attending Black Gay Pride in 2010.

“At this time and even throughout a year and a half investigation, I don’t have any indication that their personal life or lifestyle factored into it at all,” Detective Michael Willis said in an interview this afternoon.

Derrick Burden, 22, was arrested by the APD's Fugitive Unit on April 23 on a warrant for the homicides of both Samuel Blizzard, 21, a Georgia State University student from Spring Cove, Va., and Calvin Streater, 26, of Atlanta.

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A picture of Black Gay Pride

Black Gay Pride calendar

When I sat down to make a digital list of events for Black Gay Pride that could be shared on social networks across the internet, I never thought it would become so symbolic of the need to have such an event.

My editor did a great job of explaining why there are two Prides last year, but with the grumbling about why Atlanta's gay community needs two Prides coming in like clockwork, I pose a very simple question: Why not?

Black Gay Pride began as a series of informal house parties and nightlife events over Labor Day weekend in Atlanta. There was no organizing body and no way to know these parties were happening unless you were in the community for which they were thrown.

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Black Gay Pride: State of Black Gay America Summit seeks to ‘revitalize’ community

State of Black Gay America conference

Atlanta’s Black Gay Pride is believed to be the largest such celebration in the country. It is fitting, then, that the weekend is host to the annual State of Black Gay America Summit — an ambitious event that aims to both take stock and inspire change.

“Atlanta sets the tone for the rest of the black gay world. This is the black gay mecca. When Atlanta does something, people watch. We set trends,” said Gregory Allen, the president and CEO of Xtreme Entertainment, Inc., which founded the summit with community advocate Darlene Hudson.

“People have to show up and show out; the only way to move ahead is to move together,” Allen said at a recent Black Gay Pride press conference hoted by Meak Productions. “Black Gay Pride is everyone’s, so it’s our responsibility to see it through.”

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Black Gay Pride: Stars shine over Labor Day weekend

Musical artist Brandy will perform at Atlanta's Black Gay Pride weekend

Each year, party promoters for Black Gay Pride are able to bring top celebrities to Atlanta over Labor Day weekend to the appreciation of tens of thousands of people who flock to the city from around the country to participate in the largest event of its kind.

Last year, Nicki Minaj, Fantasia, Lil Kim, Kelly Rowland and Amber Rose were just a few of the divas to perform or simply make an appearance and say hi to thousands of adoring fans.

This year is no different with stars hosting events, performing and doing walk-throughs at dozens of locations during Labor Day weekend. So, who’s going to be in Atlanta this weekend helping to make memories for Black Gay Pride attendees? Here’s a sampling of some of the top-notch entertainment slated:

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Black Gay Pride: In the Life Atlanta offers full slate of empowering events

In the Life Atlanta president Raymond Duke

In the Life Atlanta celebrates its crystal anniversary this year, marking 15 years of building community empowerment through Black Gay Pride weekend.

“The overarching theme for our anniversary this year is ‘In the present, learning from the past to shape the future.’ We chose the crystal ball because it’s been 15 years; 15 is the crystal year,” explained ITLA President Raymond Duke at a press conference late last month.

The non-profit organization formed in 1996 to bring a cultural component to Black Gay Pride, which began as an informal network of house parties, nightlife and other gatherings.

Now, organizers want to celebrate the past while also looking to the future.