Black Girl Mag­ic flour­ish­es in drag in Philadel­phia this weekend

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VinChelle organized and will host the Black Girl Magic show. (Photo by Garrett Matthew)
VinChelle organized and will host the Black Girl Magic show. (Photo by Garrett Matthew)

In celebration of the art of drag and its profound place in Black history, Voyeur Nightclub (1221 Saint James Street) will be hosting Black Girl Magic Philadelphia, a charity drag show featuring ten of the city's top Black drag performers on Saturday, February 23, 2019.

“After really getting into drag, I discovered how much I love the art and embracing my African culture,” event organizer and performer VinChelle tells BSR. “I then also really wanted to use my platform as a voice for the Black community and really showcase Black excellence.”

As the drag and ballroom scene flourished throughout the 20th century, Black drag queens were expected to whiten their faces to conform to a eurocentric idea of femininity. By the early 1960s, the racism in drag and ballroom culture compelled Black queens to organize the own first ballroom event. Since then, the scene has flourished with events that highlight Black performers throughout the city. This energy has blossomed out from the underground to influence mainstream fashion, popular music, film, and television.

Black Girl Magic Philadelphia is significant because it's a "positive representation of the talents that Black drag queens and hyper-femme performance artists bring to the table from all generations,” Philly-based artist Icon Ebony Fierce explains. “This show will showcase how representation matters in the drag community across gender lines with Black drag as well.”

Proceeds will be donated to Project HOME, a nonprofit whose stated mission is to “empower adults, children, and families to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.” Black Girl Magic Philadelphia dives deep into an important cultural legacy while contributing to a worthy cause for the future.

Doors open at 7:30pm and the show begins at 8pm. Admission is $10.

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