“The ancestors are speaking through us today”
BY ELEANOR NOYCE & CHAR BAILEY, IMAGE BY ROXANNE ANDERSON
UK Black Pride has been Europe’s largest celebration for African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-heritage LGBTQI+ people since its foundation in 2005. Returning on Sunday 14 August with the theme of “power”, features writer Char Bailey reflects on the magic of UK Black Pride in our August issue. Want a sneak peak of what she had to say? Read on.
“It’s difficult to describe the feeling of being seen. Perhaps you have felt it, or witnessed it. It’s not just a POC thing, it’s a people thing. Being recognised, accepted and celebrated, exactly as you are. Being acknowledged and recognised as part of something bigger than yourself. Your authentic existence is more than enough, and I accept every curve and quirk and wave and pigment, with all the queer sauce and sprinkles on top. The best thing about this “validation” is that it’s not just something we receive, we can give it too. If the “Black nod” says I see you, the “queer nod” says I see you and you are fabulous.”
Experience the euphoria for yourself at Sunday’s in-person protest and celebration. UK Black Pride’s last physical event saw the attendance of 10,000 people to Haggerston Park in Hackney, having outgrown its former tenancy at Vauxhall Park in Lambeth. This year, it will be taking place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.
“Our vision for UK Black Pride has always been to meet and exceed the expectations of the communities we represent and fight for. Each year, we consider how – through programming, protest and politics – we can create space where our identities and our cultures can be expressed safely, in partnership with councils and venues that understand how important our communities are to us. We have been wholly impressed by the team at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and their enthusiasm to bring LGBTQI+ Black people and people of colour together for our annual event at such an iconic venue”, states co-founder and Executive Director Phyll Opoku-Gyimah.
“UK Black Pride is eternally indebted to the loving power of the Black queer women who founded and maintain us, and to those who continue to show up in spirit and in flesh to ensure our communities have a pride celebration all their own. We are grateful to those who express power rooted in a firm belief that equality is not a pipe dream or a nice-to-have, and those who harness their power to positively impact the lives of those who have been left behind and forgotten. We honour the power our communities continue to wield to ensure that our communities are defended and supported, loved and protected.”
For more information, visit the UK Black Pride website at ukblackpride.org.uk or follow UK Black Pride on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Solidarity with African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-heritage LGBTQI+ people globally.
An online influencer, mental health advocate and Head of Wellbeing & Education at Birmingham Pride, Char Bailey is DIVA’s resident features writer. She uses her platform to provide audiences with workshops on mindfulness, life coaching and sports performance empowerment, alongside working with UK Black Pride on education and inclusion. Follow her on Twitter here or on Instagram here to keep up with her fantastic, spirited work.
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