Spotlight On: Uk Black Pride
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It’s the next instalment of our series Spotlight On, where we explore issues that matter the most to you, with professionals in those fields. This time, we hear from UK Black Pride - Europe’s largest celebration for African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-heritage LGBTQI+ people. Here’s what they had to say…
What is UK Black Pride and why was it created?
UK Black Pride (UKBP) is Europe’s largest celebration for LGBTQI+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American and Middle Eastern-descent.
Founded in 2005 by members of network Black Lesbians in the UK (BLUK), it started as a day trip to Southend-on-Sea and has blossomed into an annual event with thousands of attendees and a prominent voice within the LGBTQI+ community.
UKBP is a safe space for the queer Black and POC community to come together, share, learn and celebrate, all through the lens of intersectionality. While mainstream prides have grown and become more popular, they do not always feel like the most welcoming of spaces for Black and POC LGQBTI+ people. Therefore, UKBP was created to create a much-needed space for the celebration of our cultures and lived experiences.
What exactly does UK Black Pride do?
We produce an annual celebration during pride month, as well as a variety of activities throughout the year in and around the UK, which also promote and advocate for the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual health and wellbeing of the communities we represent.
UKBP also partners with other community groups and a select few brands to provide workshops, mindfulness events and to create content to educate and celebrate.
Why is it important that safe spaces like yours exist?
Everyone is deserving of a space where they can be themselves. Safe spaces allow us to form kinships, build confidence and learn more about ourselves free from judgement.
UKBP is all about finding and growing with your chosen family – being able to connect and bond with a range of people, from those who have followed a similar path to your own to those who are completely different. Having a space to explore and feel like our needs are recognised and met is key to our personal development.
What does the future hold for UK Black Pride?
As we continue to grow and slowly emerge out of the pandemic, we’re aiming to continue supporting the community with physical events and in-person gatherings. We recently launched our We Will Be Heard survey to give our community a voice and platform to let us know what they wanted from us. With this we will be launching our Community Action Fund, in partnership with NYX Professional Makeup and Stonewall, to deliver funds to community groups that reach our UKBP family.
How can young people support and/get involved in UK Black pride?
Follow us on social media to find out more about events, workshops and the campaigns we’re running (Instagram and Twitter). Look out for announcements on this year’s event; UKBP is a safe space however we’d encourage young people to come with adults.