The origin of our movement began with the Stonewall Inn Uprising on June 27, 1969, when New York Beverage Control Board agents and New York City police officers raided the bar to enforce an alcohol control law that was seldom imposed anywhere else in the city. While the fight for LGBTQIA+ equality was happening in New York City, the fight for Black progression was also at the forefront in many cities in the south, including Atlanta.
Atlanta Black Pride Weekend traces its roots back to September 1984 when three friends and active members of the Atlanta Pride community - spearheaded by Henri McTerry, along with David Hampton and Phillip Boone would host weekly backyard events every Saturday for the Black LGBTQ+ community.
The Birth of Atlanta Black Pride
LGBTQIA+ individuals of color encountered heightened discrimination from heterosexual people and were at times denied entry into White LGBTQIA+ owned establishments, the backyard events served as a place where Blacks could be themselves, feel safe and celebrate diversity. By 1989, the events garnered so much attention in Atlanta that various LGBTQIA+-friendly clubs offered to host their events on other nights in addition to Saturdays. In the Life Atlanta (ITLA), a nonprofit organization that focused on Black LGBTQIA+ programming and resources also partnered with the trio to further promote the events and expand awareness.
In 1992, James Mason connected with Phillip Boone at the Warehouse location also known at TRAXX ATLANTA. These events would later become popularly known as the Traxx Atlanta Events. What started out as a small group of Black gay friends enjoying a backyard event, would continue to grow through the years. The events would also begin to include other attendees from the LGBTQIA+ community and neighboring cities. As the celebration grew, the official Atlanta Black Pride was born.