In November 2008, a tenacious group of black lesbian activists recognized that there was a void in the community of Southern California. Women were searching for a place to come together. A place to share their feelings. A place where they could be their true authentic selves. With shared experience in organizing fifteen very successful black lesbian retreats (Sistahfest, from 1991 through 2005), these activists knew what needed to be done. It was time to come together, to bring a collective voice the local black lesbian community, and to bring back the black lesbian retreat experience to Southern California. Later christened as “Black Lesbians United”, the first annual BLU retreat was scheduled for September, 2009. What has happened since then has surprised us all. The first two BLU retreats have drawn hundreds of women to the hills of Malibu. Women from across the nation, and across the globe, have travelled to Southern California to participate in this village of women. While one participant stated “The BLU Retreat is an oasis for women of African Descent who love other women,” another simply stated, “This is home.”
The third retreat is scheduled this year in October.