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Atlanta Black Gay Pride leadership names new president

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In the Life Atlanta, the non-profit organizer of the annual Black Gay Pride celebration, announced today a new president is stepping in to take over the reins of leading the organization.

Raymond Duke, who became president of ITLA in 2008, is stepping down from his post. The new president is Rickie Smith.

Rickie Smith

"While I will miss so many things about the role and responsibility of organizational leadership, I have built life changing relationships that I will cherish forever," Duke said in a prepared statement.

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Nightlife heats up for Atlanta Black Gay Pride

Nicki Minaj

Packed with educational and informative events such as the State of Black Gay America Summit, Black Gay Pride is more than just a weekend-long party. But there is no doubt that partying is a major aspect of celebrating Pride for the estimated 100,000 people who come from all over the world to descend on Atlanta over Labor Day weekend.

This year’s parties should be as hot as ever, but which celebrities will perform remains unclear as promoters continue to finalize their nightlife schedules.

“It’s going to be a full weekend and we’re still putting on some final touches. It’s been a real struggle with artists this year but they are slowly trickling in,” says Phillip Boone, owner of Traxx Atlanta.

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‘In the Life’ paved way for generation of black gay men

I first learned that I had the power to become, to define myself beyond the circumstance of my birth, through the cultural pride my parents instilled in me and my brother. Our home was enriched with artifacts of black genius. There were books and albums of art titans such as Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, the Temptations, Coltrane and Labelle. There was the framed “Free Angela Davis” portrait posted so high her regal afro nearly touched our living room ceiling.

Through the acknowledgment of record, this little black boy was shown his past and thus felt assured a place in the world. “When I speak of home, I mean not only the familial constellation from which I grew, but the entire black community: the black press, the black church, black academicians, the black literati, and the black left.”

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ATL gay promoters and activists honor legacy of MLK

Atlanta HIV / AIDS activst Craig Washington

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. noted that the gulf between different groups of people was widened not only by outright racism, but also by the unspoken acceptance of the status quo. Although the white and black gay populations in King’s hometown have gained tremendous vibrancy and clout since his era, modern Atlanta’s gay social scene can sometimes feel as segregated as 1950s lunch counters and water fountains.

“We’re creatures of habit, and we tend to stick to things and people that we are accustomed to,” says Gregory Allen, CEO of Xtreme Entertainment, which hosts “The Lion’s Den” parties. “We tend to stay in our own neighborhoods, we tend to party in our own circles.

“There are so many subsets of the LGBT community, and without actually taking the initiative or making the effort to really bring the cultures together, everyone just goes to their own corner — African-Americans partying in their own circle, Caucasians partying in their own circle, Hispanics partying in their own circle,” he adds.