Blackhawk Pride: Racist Logos and Pride Month

MJ Adia
3 min readJun 14, 2022

Is Chicago overshadowing equality for BIPOC while upholding LGBTQ rights?

Image of billboard with Blackhawk logo and rainbow flags in front of Chicago skyline
Photo by Benjamin Suter, adapted by Author on Canva

I visited my sister in Chicago, and I can definitely see the city’s appeal. Blue rivers and lakes, good dining, fantastic architecture. One of my first thoughts was, ‘This city is so clean!’ You can be sure I’m not talking about politics since Chicago has ranked the most corrupt US city for three years straight.

Back to the issue at hand. We walked through Boystown, ate at a lovely vegan restaurant, and read historical information about LGBTQ history on the artistic sidewalk installments that were heart-rending and beautiful. I was happy to peep inclusiveness throughout the city: rainbows painted on crosswalks, rainbow flags waving in government courtyards, and even Target sported queer-friendly apparel. However, I was underwhelmed when I saw a digital poster board with two pride flags flanking the Blackhawk logo above the words ‘Chicago Pride.’ For those unfamiliar, the Blackhawks is the organization and hockey team with the logo of the profile of a Native American smiling with face paint and feathers in his hair.

I’m happy that Chicago is making strides with LGBTQ rights and support, but it seems that racial dignity and honor were thrown under the bus at the expense of the money-making machine which is the sports industry.

I found this to be an unfortunate trend in Peru, as well, where LGBTQ rights were voiced and discussed, but racism was a dead end. No, I’m not playing the oppression Olympics, I’m just pointing out a contradiction. There are, of course, LGBTQ people of color. Yet, as a group, LGBTQ people are often marginalized within queer spaces. It doesn’t help that POC get sidelined by white privilege. An example of racial exclusion in the LGBTQ community was in 2017 when an attempt to add a black and brown stripe to the rainbow flag during Philly Pride was met by anger from white gay men.

Just like when women’s rights were fueled by Black women, but white women left them in the dust after their efforts advanced them socially and politically, POC are often suspicious about aligning with white LGBTQ folks. Think Modern Family’s star gay couple. Wealthy, white, enacting traditional gender roles within their relationship and with adopting a child. They could “pass”…

MJ Adia

Black-Filipina. Lived in Peru for 5 years. LICSW, dancer, meditator. Writes about multiculturalism, cinema, race, social issues.