Plantation Mentality Editorial: White Parties by Phinesse Demps

White Parties seem to be at all time high in celebrations. What was once celebrated near the end of summer as a means or reason to wear white one more time, is now transferred to anytime and place. The most surprising fact is that people don’t know the meaning behind white parties. As is the case with us as black folks, we tend to gravitate towards something without investigating. As owner and publisher of this publication, it is my job and that of my staff’s to tackle topics that are not thoroughly discussed. In other words, it is our job to educate and then allow our readers to decide from there. In our continuing series on Plantation Mentality, our topic today is White Parties.

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Just like anyone else, when I first heard the term White Party, I thought it was just for white people. Not to be confused with The Klu Klux Klan, The White Party I am referring to is one where you come dressed up in ALL white. No other color can be worn at all. However, there is more than meets the eye on this one.

Origin: White Parties, on record, started during the disco era. Depending on where you were in the country,  you more than likely had to travel to one of these areas and find its secret location. You had to be invited. Why? Because the White Party was all about secrets. One of the main secrets was that these small social get-togethers were usually promoted by a person with money who mainly put on this affair for men who had everything to lose if word got out that they were gay.

Back then, the LGBTQ culture was not accepted publicly, so you had to be secretive, or as we call it in the Black/Latino Community, “on the D.L.”.  The other aspect of the White Party is based on the era it originated during, which was notoriously known for big cocaine use. And we all know what color coke is, right? Because of the negative attitude towards cocaine, the person who promoted this event had the money to make sure his guest had plenty of booze, men, and drugs..on the low. The saying, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” applies here.

Let’s fast forward to today. It’s important that you are informed about what it is you are becoming a part of and, as a promoter, decide if you want to carry on the same tradition of White Party. Over the years, they have used the occasion to raise money for AIDS/HIV research. As in the case of Miami’s White Parties, these parties have become one of more purpose in recent times. Even though the culture of LGBTQ is accepted in most circles, there is still a problem in the Black/Latino community where we don’t even discuss the topic. In cities like Baltimore, Atlanta, New York, and D.C., where the numbers do not lie when it comes to HIV/ AIDS in the Black Community, the premise of the White Party model still exists.

Blacks/Latinos, should look more into starting their own traditions instead of embracing those of groups who have their own agenda of which we are not included. I have nothing against White Parties or against the LGBTQ community, as at one time in my promoter days, I was looking to host one. But once I was schooled on the meaning, I decided against it. I felt then as I do now.  I wanted to bring our own culture up with our own thing. What about you?

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