Celebrating Pride with a playlist of Black LGBTQIA+ artists

Pride 2020
Top row left to right: Kehlani, Backxwash

This Pride month has been marked with legal battles, trauma, and violence, much of which has fallen on the Black trans community. Tony McDade, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah Milton, and all Black trans lives matter. Black LGBTQIA+ lives are worthy, loved, and valued. But this violence against them continues to exist, and often they are left out of conversations of LGBTQIA+ rights, even though Black trans women secured many wins for the LGBTQIA+ community, from Stonewall to today.

“Pride to me this year is the same as every year,” Asanni Armon, a Black trans organizer who leads the non-profit For the Gworls, told the Huffington Post. “It’s about making sure that Black transgender people are front and center in the fight for Black liberation because if we are not liberated, no one is. Period.”

To celebrate Pride, we’ve put together a playlist of Black LGBTQIA+ artists, whose styles defy any one genre or sound. Just within our home base of the Twin Cities, there are so many musicians making strides and reinventing the cities’ sounds, including rapper Psalm One, producer Booboo, and the band Static Panic.

This playlist is full of bops to dance to, like the slinky new single “Taste” from Static Panic, Shamir’s self-affirming recent song “On My Own,” or the driving “umbrellar” from Dua Saleh’s EP ROSETTA (whose name pays homage to the queer rock & roll pioneer Sister Rosetta Tharpe).

Minneapolis’ Kamilla Love isn’t on Spotify, but you can follow her on Soundcloud, where you’ll find her 2019 album 0402 and her debut 2018 EP, Barbie Girl Vol. 1.

While you’re on Soundcloud, you can also keep up with DJ Keezy and check out her Pride mix:

These songs are also a great soundtrack to researching and donating to organizations that support and affirm Black trans lives. We’ve linked a few below and included their mission statements. If you’re looking for more to listen to, Dua Saleh also put together their own playlist which features many Black LGBTQIA+ artists.

Black Trans Femmes in the Arts: “a collective of Black trans femmes dedicated to creating space for ourselves in the arts and beyond.”

Black Trans Travel Fund: “a grassroots, mutual aid based organization developed for the purpose of providing Black transgender women with the financial resources necessary for them to be able to self-determine and access their safest travel options.”

The Okra Project: “a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People wherever we can reach them.”

For the Gworls: Non-profit that “raise[s] money to pay for a Black trans person’s rent or gender affirming surgery.”

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