One of the highlights of Pride for me was definitely having the opportunity to hear actress/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph deliver the keynote address at the second annual State of Black Gay America Summit this past Saturday. Mrs. Ralph has been an outspoken ally to the LGBT community since the early 80's during her time as an original cast member in the Broadway production of Dreamgirls. She has worked tirelessly to educate the black community about the reality of HIV/AIDS despite the incredible stigma attached to the disease and the consistent silence from many black leaders over the years.
Please excuse the vernacular, but ya'll Sheryl Lee Ralph gets it! The humanity of this woman is beyond comprehension.
"I'm Sheryl Lee Ralph and I don't know how to hate you", she says.
For an hour Mrs. Ralph addressed coming out, homophobia, the black church, self-esteem, the importance of electing Barack Obama, and HIV/AIDS. If you've never heard Mrs. Ralph speak then you're in for an amazing experience. Below is an eight minute excerpt of what I believe is some of the most powerful moments of her address. Please set aside some time in your day to listen to her message and by all means share it with others.
I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comment section.