Black Bear Brotherhood Mission
The Black Bear Brotherhood of Detroit (BBB) is a social collective committed to fostering the social connectivity, health, wellness, political, creative, and financial wellbeing of Black gay, bisexual, gender nonconforming, and same gender loving men of size and their allies.
Black Bear Brotherhood History
BBB was established on May 27, 2017, in the Detroit, MI living room of founder L. Michael Gipson with an initial 12 Black gay, bisexual, same gender loving, and gender non-conforming men of size and their allies who gathered that fateful Memorial Day weekend out of a need for solidarity, fellowship, and collective self-affirmation. It has since evolved into a movement of men focused on whole person development, creating a culture that positively reflects them and supports their needs, and addressing the urgent needs ever present within their many intersectional communities.
Black Bear Brotherhood Programs
The Black Bear Brotherhood of Detroit offers a full calendar of events and ongoing programming to serve its membership and the community at-large. Some programming is restricted to full members, some to full and associate membership, while much programming is open to the entire community. Please read below to determine which programs and events are right for–and available to–you.
BBB Potluck – (Full Members Only): This monthly social gathering for men of color who are also of size (and their admirers/allies) is a safe, relaxing space that places an emphasis on the social. Fun and insightful games, rich and humorous discussions, generous food and libations, and monthly birthday celebrations of attending members are all part of the BBB potluck tradition. Come through!
Self-Care Salon – (Full & Associate Members Only): This new monthly offering centers men of color but are also open to the BBB associate membership of white allies for a personal development workshop series that explores all BBB members’ health and wellness, including financial, spiritual, and mental health. The topical series includes a licensed counselor as session co-facilitator to ensure members have the kind of in-session professional support they need to meet their personal development goals.
Quarterly Community Forums – (All Are Welcome): These quarterly community events tackle serious subjects of importance affecting the entire community, from the power of the Black gay vote to the rise of crystal meth and sex work in our community. The events also highlight those actively and positively engaged in progressive work within the community, countering the narrative about who our community is and what we’re about. Forums may include guest lectures, film screenings, play or literary readings, multi-media art exhibitions, one-on-one interviews, and/or full panel discussions, always engaging the audience to ensure community-wide participation on the issues, concerns, and interests that matter to us.
BBB Summers – (All Are Welcome): Summer in the Midwest can be a release and an opportunity to get together for health and fitness or just to break bread with one another. Every summer BBB will offer a mix of outdoor activities that strengthen our bodies and spirits…and sometimes just our bellies! BBB summer events series kick off with our annual BBB anniversary BBQ during Memorial Day weekend. In 2020, BBB will launch its first annual BBB Midwest Weekend in Saugatuck, MI. So, stay tuned!
BBB Bar Nights – (All Are Welcome): Celebrating men of color who are of size and their admirers/allies in a fun party atmosphere for brotherhood, networking, cackles, and maybe a date or two. To-date, only BBB Cincinnati offers BBB Bar Nights (check the BBB Cincy page for dates, times, and locations), but keep watch of our calendar for other BBB Bar Night chapter opportunities. Welcome to the Brotherhood!
To reach Black Bear Brotherhood, you may click on the Contact Page below, visit and like our social media links, or simply email us at BlackBearBrotherhood@gmail.com.