In August 2005 a social outing was organised to the sleepy seaside town of Southend-on-Sea in Essex. What began as a minibus trip to the sea, quickly developed into three coach-loads of lesbian and bisexual Black women making the first of a long and proud journey that has grown in size, stature and inclusivity.
During the build up to that one incredible outing in Southend the concept evolved for an annual UK Black Pride event the following year, where Black LGBT men, women and trans people, could foster a sense of pride in our identities. This enthusiasm from the patrons and sponsors who supported the launch of UK Black Pride on 18 August 2006 ensured the event was etched into LGBT history as the leading celebration of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American LGBT people from Britain, Europe and internationally. It also set the foundations to ensure that UK Black Pride becomes a permanent feature on the annual calendar of Pride activities.
Certainly, since 2006, UK Black Pride has grown from strength to strength because it has continued to secure the confidence, respect and support of the community, our friends and families. UK Black Pride’s organisers have maintained the core essence of being the only Black LGBT community Pride event to be genuinely designed, delivered and led by the full diversity of Black LGBT people.
In fact, the popularity and level of community interest that has been generated by UK Black Pride has been so overwhelming that the location of the event has had to be moved to a central venue. Since 2007, the serene grounds of Regents Park College London, with its beautiful lake and buildings, have formed the inspiring backdrop to a
The UK Black Pride event has also attracted support from around the world and a cross section of society, including Members of Parliament, trade unions, Black and LGBT community and voluntary groups, providers of public services like the police and primary care trusts, as well as young people and students. Most importantly though, UK Black Pride continues to be supported by the community it serves to ensure the principle of ‘Pride before Profit’ and to guarantee UK Black Pride remains an inclusive event for all in our community.
In 2009 the organisers of the fourth annual UK Black Pride, on 15 August, have introduced new activities to guarantee even stronger and active participation of Black LGBT people so that UK Black Pride remains a massive hit. For example, this year, some of Britain’s hottest DJs, dance acts, and performers, including the wonderful Beverley Knight, will be hitting the decks and bringing down the house. This will be in addition to plenty of food and drink that will be flowing; fantastic prizes to win in raffles; employers, trade unions and welfare providers showcasing their vital services in a market of information stalls, or else attendees could relax in a cinema screening innovative films, or participate in informative workshops, relax in a children’s area, or explore the secret garden and much, much more.