If you have to have it explained, you ain't never going to know. (Old blues man's saying.)
In his "Our View" column in the September 6th issue of The Word, the editor calls for the elimination of Indiana Black Pride. Robert Ferguson has penned a superb reply elsewhere (ED NOTE: See comments to read Robert's reply originally sent out via email.) and I will not try to paint the lilly. I will note that an impartial observer might doubt The Word's motives considering that the pictures they published of Indy Pride this year were devoid of visible Black faces; they made no mention of the Indy Pride picnic which was hosted by Indiana Black Pride, and they went so far as to publish this notation in the July edition: "If you still want to show your pride in the area, or you missed your local event, July brings one final chance as this Northeast Indiana city holds their annual event the last weekend of July."
Clearly the unity he speaks of is the unity of erasure, where Black people conveniently disappear from view. Why not wrap Indy Pride into the State Fair, as a jesture towards the unity we would like to see across the state?
American culture would not be what it is without the many contributions of Black people over the centuries. African-Americans contribute to Indy Pride in many ways and attend it in large numbers. Indiana Black Pride contributes greatly as an organization as does Indy Pride to our Festival in the Park. But contributing to Indy Pride is not the same as having a festival given by Black folks, for Black folks, in their neighborhood, with everyone most welcome. It is not just a courtesy to have white folk at the festival; it is an important statement that we support the myriad efforts of Black Pride and all the African American organizations. The statement needs to be made to them, and to their community.