by Jessica Carreras
July is underway, and in Detroit’s LGBT community, that can only mean one thing: Hotter Than July is upon us. This year, the Motor City’s black gay pride festival includes a slew of events at various places around Detroit and Ferndale.
Put on by the Black Pride Society, Hotter Than July marks the only black LGBT pride festival in the Midwest. “Detroit’s Hotter Than July! is an annual black pride celebration based upon the seven core principles of Kwanza,” claims the Web site, http://www.hotterthanjuly.com. “It serves as a year round mechanism and foundation to promote community-building activities and events with the goal of cultivating and sustaining a healthy community through cultural activities, economics, education, networking and spirituality.”
This year’s celebration, dubbed “Coming Full Circle – In Our Own Image,” will feature live entertainment such as comedians and musicians, a candlelight vigil, a film festival and more. The celebration will culminate with the annual Palmer Park Celebration and Family Picnic, a festival that will include food, music, HIV testing, live entertainment and more. In addition, the Karibu House will host a Kid’s Fair with games, face painting and other activities, while the Real Enough 2 Change Boyz of AIDS Partnership Michigan will hold their annual Power of Prevention Mini-Ball with cash prizes and trophies.
It’s a week and a half of events that can’t be missed. Sweltering summer heat? It’s nothing in comparison to the temperatures generated by Hotter Than July.
Friday, July 17
Rene Hicks, 8 p.m. In conjunction with the Black Pride Society. Afterglow held at Club Nine in Ferndale. Tickets: $10-15. Affirmations, 290 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale. 248-398-7105. http://www.goaffirmations.org
Tuesday, July 21
The Wiz, 7 p.m. A movie showing in honor of the late Michael Jackson. Suggested donation: $5. Affirmations, 290 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale. 248-398-7105. http://www.goaffirmations.org
Wednesday, July 22
Hotter Than July VIP Art Reception and Exhbition, 7 p.m. A reception with networking and light refreshments. Black Pride Society, Renaissance Center, Detroit. http://www.hotterthanjuly.com
Ladies and Gentlemen Preferred, 8 p.m. A musical celebration of love songs by men for men and by ladies for ladies. Tickets: $25. KICK, 33 E. Forest Ave., Detroit. 313-285-9733. http://www.e-kick.org
Thursday, July 23
Film Festival, 6:30 p.m. The annual festival put on by S.P.I.C.E. featuring a selection of films in honor of black gay pride. Open bar and buffet goes until 7:30 p.m. and films begin at 7:45 p.m. Legal Aid and Defender Amphitheatre, 613 Abbott, Detroit. 313-826-1571. http://www.spiceonline.org.
Candlelight Vigil, 7 p.m. Hosted by Pastor Darlene Franklin of the Full Truth Church of Christ. To honor those lost to HIV/AIDS, cancer and other health conditions. Black Pride Society, Palmer Park, Detroit. http://www.hotterthanjuly.com
Friday, July 24
Genesis Conference Author’s Corner, 12 p.m. Part of the week of Hotter Than July events. Black Pride Society, Renaissance Center, Detroit. http://www.hotterthanjuly.com
Saturday, July 25
Palmer Park Celebration and Family Picnic, 12 p.m. The 14th annual festival with food, vendors, organizations and entertainment. Black Pride Society, Detroit. http://www.hotterthanjuly.com
Sunday, July 26
Sunday Soul Brunch, 11:30 a.m. Specifics of the brunch, including the location, are yet to be decided. Check the Web site for more information. http://www.hotterthanjuly.com