In equal measures a celebration and a protest, yesterday’s event welcomed 25,000 people to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGES BY TRISTAN FEWINGS/GETTY IMAGES VIA UK BLACK PRIDE
Ta da! Returning for its first in-person event post-lockdown, UK Black Pride welcomed an astonishing 25,000 people to Queen Elizabeth Park in East London. These figures render UK Black Pride the world’s largest celebration for Black and POC LGBTQIA+ individuals. History has been made.
Yesterday, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan extended his support to UK Black Pride ahead of the event. “I’m delighted that thousands of people will unite at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park today to mark UK Black Pride 2022. London is a city where we celebrate our Diversity, but we know there is still so much to do at home and abroad to ensure that everyone is treated equally and has a stake in society. By gathering together today, members of our Black LGBTQI+ communities and allies will unite in celebration and send a message to the world about the power of equality.”
Attendance has more than doubled since the last in-person event, which saw the attendance of over 10,000 people in Haggerston Park, East London, and Yasmin Finney, Emeli Sandé, Gok Wan, Dawn Butler and more turned out to celebrate with the community.
This year, UK Black Pride made the decision – after months of planning – to host at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 10 years after the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games shone the spotlight on London. Attracting six million visitors each year, the Olympic Park retains its impression in delivering world-class sport and entertainment events and building thousands of new homes and two new business districts. East Bank is set to open in the near future, marking them most ambitious cultural and educational district the country has seen for a generation.
Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, co-founder and Executive Director, states: “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.”
Lyn Garner, Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation, furthers: “We are delighted to host UK Black Pride on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This year’s theme of power will resonate around the Park where huge transformation for the better is being delivered by placing inclusivity at the heart of everything we do.”
This is a moment for the history books. Power to UK Black Pride.
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.
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