UK Black Pride made history this year by becoming the largest ever Black Pride worldwide with more than 25,000 attendees. The groundbreaking event took place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London, on Sunday, August 14.
The theme of this year’s UK Black Pride was ‘power’, with organisers explaining it was “a way to honour the power our communities continue to wield to ensure that our communities are defended and supported, loved and protected.”
This was the first parade of its kind to take place in person since 2019, shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event invited almost 50 performers onstage. Those in attendance included Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney, along with artists Emeli Sandé, Sadie Sinner, Gok Wan and Dréya Mac performing a stunning headline set.
Power! UK Black Pride is today & is so beautiful. I’m so grateful for the community, space, protest & power that @MsLadyPhyll has created for and with us all. We all loved the well-being stage, esp the Rainbow Sisters – thank you @char_bailey_ so lovely to see you! @ukblackpride pic.twitter.com/0oFP5AMw8h
— Pari Dhillon (@PariDhillon) August 14, 2022
Emeli Sandé joined the festivities after announcing earlier this year that a “huge weight has been lifted” off her shoulder after she told her social media followers that she was in love with a woman. The singer said it has taken her many years “to find the strength” to be herself.
There were also a number of gorgeous stalls that attendees could peruse and avail of. The stalls were made up of community-focused groups and organisations including the Terrence Higgins Trust, Tonic Housing and NHS Barts Health which was administering monkeypox vaccinations free of charge.
Lady Phyll, the co-founder and CEO of UK Black Pride, invited trailblazing activist Ted Brown to the stage telling him, “You make this possible for us. We stand on the shoulders of giants and this is a giant. Thank you.”
Brown reflected on the significance of the first ever UK Black Pride, saying, “We had no idea how people were going to respond. We thought they might throw stones at us, we might be arrested. We even did a kiss at Trafalgar Square in public, which was against the law.”
UK BLACK PRIDE 2022✊️✊?✊?✊?✊?✊? pic.twitter.com/54uDga65lf
— Hamza Jahanzeb (@hamzajahanzeb) August 14, 2022
Lady Phyll announced that the historic turnout made it the biggest Black Pride in the world, proudly declaring, “We have just been announced by the Federation of Black Prides that we are now officially the largest Black Pride in the world.”
Following this empowering statement, she also told the crowd, “We are here, we’re here to stay. We’re Black and Brown queer people that need to love each other, that need to look after one another, that need to fight the racism, fight the sexism, fight the homophobia, fight any form of discrimination – fight the transphobia!”
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