Center the Culture: Juneteenth Block Party

The Center's annual Center the Culture block party celebrates New York City’s Black LGBTQ+ community and honors the history of Juneteenth. This includes Black LGBTQ+ vendors, interactive activities, storytelling, art-making, panel discussions, and more! This event is free and open to all members of the community.

Join The Center for a free afternoon of sounds and delicious eats—curating fully immersive experiences featuring Black vendors and touch points inspired by Black queer culture.

Register here!

This event is free to attend!

RSVP here

Featuring

Durand Bernarr

DJ TBD a.k.a. Bra Coley

Headliner (DJ Set)

For The Gworls

DJ

SIREN

Queer Musical Acts

DJ Sets & Activations

Durand Bernarr

DJ TBD a.k.a. Bra Coley

Headliner (DJ Set)

Described as “Gangster Musical Theatre” by Qveen Herby, Durand Bernarr combines elements of Little Richard and Rick James with his own unique flair, characterized by his powerful vocals and clever storytelling. The result is unmistakably Durand, earning him the title of “your favorite singer’s favorite singer.” 

The proclaimed “artist to know” had quite a remarkable year in 2023. Amidst his successful sold-out 17-city tour, The Wanderlust Tour, NPR premiered his now viral Tiny Desk performance where he and his band paid homage to Disney’s beloved animated TV series, The Proud Family. Furthermore, Benarr recorded two songs for the Spotify Singles series. As part of this endeavor, he released a reimagined version of Seal’s 1994 hit “Kiss from a Rose,” along with a remix of his own single “Leveled.” Alongside captivating performances at events like Afropunk, ONE Musicfest, and Sol Blume, Durand joined Erykah Badu on her “Unfollow Me” tour, lending his voice as a background vocalist throughout the tour and making appearances as an opening act in three cities out of the tour’s 25 stops. He’s currently in the studio recording new music for his EP and upcoming third studio album. 

Texass Angell

Model, DJ, and Actress

TexassAngell, known to many as Angélique Renarde, is a black trans woman hailing from the heart of Houston, Texas. Growing up under her mother’s guidance on the culturally rich east side of the city, she absorbed the colorful tapestry of her surroundings. Also with a background as a preacher’s kid, she carries a unique blend of spiritual depth and resilience. Angélique is not just an activist, but a fierce advocate for equality and justice. As a model, DJ, and actress, she uses her platform to amplify marginalized voices and challenge societal norms.

Rochelle Brock

Photographer and Director

Rochelle Brock is a photographer and director from Brooklyn, NY. She began her journey in photography to address the underrepresentation of the communities she belongs to as a plus-sized Black woman in the fashion and art world. This mission inspired her to create bodies of work that embrace and uplift women in a beautiful and positive light. Over the years, Rochelle’s work has evolved across various sectors, including fashion, beauty, and lifestyle images. She takes pride in her ability to work with and relate to the “non-traditional.” Drawing inspiration from her own life, her genuine approach to creating allows her to form authentic connections with her subjects, making them feel like the special and deserving humans that they are.

DJ Freedem

Grown from strong southern roots, Brooklyn-based DJ Freedem delivers high energy, captivating rhythms & smooth beat switches. With a specialty for bridging sounds across different genres & cultures, it’s guaranteed any dance floor will transcend.

Devanté Melton

Visual Artist

Devanté Melton is a Detroit-born visual artist & set designer living in Brooklyn, New York. He aims to spark viewers’ imagination & rekindle the magic of the natural world.  Devanté cultivates whimsical & fantastical spaces through vibrant plant designs, curated exhibition & usage of unconventional materials. Inspired by the inherent wonder of nature, Devanté’s work evokes a childlike sense of awe & playful curiosity while carefully inviting guests to conversations on culture.

Panel

Herby Revolus

Panel Moderator

My name is Herby Revolus. I am 25 years old and my work online can be viewed primarily as cultural criticism & advocacy. I started my social media career after graduating college in 2021 because I wanted to elevate some of the most marginalized voices amongst us, black, brown, queer and trans folk. My advocacy strategy is one of “infotainment”, information infused with entertainment, often achieved by utilizing pop culture topics as entry points to the deeper socio-cultural structures that lie beneath the supposed frivolity of the latest headline. I am a public thinker, intersectional feminist, queer advocate, and all around good time! And I look forward to bringing good energy, joy, and lots of love and laughter.  

Devin Michael Lowe

Founder and current ED for Black Trans Travel Fund

Panelist

Devin Michael Lowe is a community organizer invested in the liberation of Black trans people from the constraints of capitalism, white supremacy, and cis-hetero-patriarchy. As a queer, transgender man, he holds a passion for moving resources to his community, and is committed to helping to create a world where Black trans people are not just seen, but respected, protected, supported, and valued. As an actor and media producer he has worked on multiple productions that focus on the lived experiences of trans people, including in his current role as a Community Media Organizer for Black Trans Media. 

Junior Mintt

Creator of Mintty Makeup

Panelist

Junior Mintt is out to show how Mintty the world can be with a little kindness, empathy, and a strong Black, Trans, Queer perspective. She is the cohost of the Brooklyn Liberation March, creator of Mintty Makeup which is now officially able to be booked on cameo! Junior loves Mariah Carey, and Star Trek, and if there’s a reality show out there, she’s probably seen it!

Sailey Williams

Creative Director, Nightlife Legend & Archivist

Panelist

Founder of Tenz Magazine – Top 20 LGBTQ magazines on the web and leading outlet for nightlife and Ballroom in NYC.

Photography by:

Nik Antonio

Photographer

Nik Antonio, born in Brooklyn, is a queer Black photographer and director known for his evocative portraiture. His art centers around themes of the body, sexuality, and mental health, exploring these subjects through intimate imagery and self portraiture. His photography not only highlights personal narratives but also seeks to provoke conversations around these crucial topics. 

Rochelle Brock

Photographer and Director

Rochelle Brock is a photographer and director from Brooklyn, NY. She began her journey in photography to address the underrepresentation of the communities she belongs to as a plus-sized Black woman in the fashion and art world. This mission inspired her to create bodies of work that embrace and uplift women in a beautiful and positive light. Over the years, Rochelle’s work has evolved across various sectors, including fashion, beauty, and lifestyle images. She takes pride in her ability to work with and relate to the “non-traditional.” Drawing inspiration from her own life, her genuine approach to creating allows her to form authentic connections with her subjects, making them feel like the special and deserving humans that they are.

Food by:

Chaz Anthony

Savory Meals

Food Vendor

Houston, Texas native, Chaz developed a deep love for traditional cooking and recipes from a young age. He first discovered his passion for the culinary arts while shadowing his mother in the kitchen.

Upon relocating to Harlem, Chaz embarked on a career in hospitality, where he continued to embrace and refine those cherished down-home traditions. Alongside, he cultivated an artisanal culinary skill set, blending the authenticity of his upbringing with innovative techniques.

Currently, Chaz channels his culinary expertise into curating COMMUNION, a captivating family-style dining experience tailored for people of color. Through this venture, he champions the celebration of ethnic, gender, and professional diversity, fostering open dialogue and unity through shared meals.

Juneteenth 2023 Album

Take a look