‘Black is Beautiful!’: PRIDE Art Festival celebrates Black youth identity in Homewood

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Surrounded by children as he told stories of Black empowerment, D.S. Kinsel posed a question to an audience outside the Homewood-Brushton YMCA. “Who is raising all these smart Black children?” Kinsel asked. A group of mothers standing nearby excitedly shot their hands into the air.  The Pitt organization PRIDE, an acronym that stands for Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education, aims to help Black children foster strong identities and community bonds through art and education.  PRIDE hosted one of their pop-up mini art festivals to support their mission last Saturday afternoon. The weekend event was part of their 2023 return to holding the festivals in person, a tradition the pandemic halted for the past three years.  Gabriel Gay and DJ Smi hosted the festival. It featured performances from Kinsel and Lois Toni McClendon, a community activist who taught InterPlay, a creative activity that combines music, movement and storytelling.  Through a menage of storytelling, performance and art activities for kids focused on African heritage and culture, the festival celebrated the theme “Black is Beautiful.” Medina Jackson, the PRIDE director of engagement and festival coordinator, said the theme ecompasses one of the main goals of the organization –– to make Black...