For our fourth Pride Profile, it’s time to check out another landmark Pride celebration happening this weekend – UK Black Pride.
By the morning of Sunday, July 7th, the Pride In London parade will have marched by, leaving nothing but a trail of glitter and happy memories in its wake. However, Pride won’t be over quite yet, as another celebration hits London that same weekend: UK Black Pride, now celebrating their thirteenth year of advocacy.
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Founded in 2006 by a group called Black Lesbians in the UK, UK Black Pride grew out of a dissatisfaction with the visibility and representation of BAME people at mainstream Pride events, and desire to celebrate heritage alongside sexuality. Aiming to cross racial and cultural lines to celebrate the entire LGBT+ spectrum of identity, UK Black Pride also does a lot of advocacy work in communities, promoting mental and intellectual health.
It’s more of an umbrella organisation than the name might at first suggest, too. A widely inclusive bunch, their annual bash is dedicated to LGBT+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Latin American descent, making it the largest such celebration in Europe. It’s also open to all, whether you identify as LGBT+ or not, and there’s quite a lot going on.
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Whilst 2019 is a landmark year for the LGBT+ rights movement as a whole, having been 50 years since the riots at the Stonewall Inn, it’s also a big year for UK Black Pride. For the past few years, they’ve taken over the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens (right around the corner from the legendary Royal Vauxhall Tavern), but they’re on the move to Haggerston Park for the 2019 celebrations.
So, a new home in a whole new borough seems like a good time to take your time, settle in, maybe not overstretch yourself, right? Not if you’re UK Black Pride, who will welcome some 9000 revellers to this year’s event, the largest in the organisation’s history. Even more than that, they’ve roped in Grammy winner MNEK to headline the festivities – fresh from performing at World Pride in New York this past weekend.
Quite the coup, isn’t it? He’ll be joined by the likes of Aaron Carty’s Beyoncé Experience, Toya Delazy, Exilio Latino, Nate Ethan, and Jason Kwan, for their biggest celebration yet. Those are just the highlights of an excellent music lineup, with food stalls and entertainment also in the mix – and it’s all free to attend. The festivities kick off at 12pm on Sunday, July 7th, and runs through until 9pm – at which point the party shifts to the official afterparty at Village Underground. Pride parade one day, UK Black Pride the next: sounds like a great way to double down on the celebrations!
Find UK Black Pride at Haggerston Park, E2 8NH – nearest stations are Hoxton and Cambridge Heath. It runs from 12-9pm on Sunday July 7th, and is open to all. See more on their website.
Featured image: @ukblackpride
Also published on Medium.