UK Black Pride has confirmed they have moved forward the date of this year’s event on Saturday, 19 August, a day earlier than originally planned.
This is due to a change of scheduling taken by the Football Association (FA). West Ham United’s game against Chelsea will now be played at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Sunday, 20 August.
They explained that the “safety, wellbeing and happiness of our UK Black Pride communities is paramount”.
UK Black Pride recognises the “dangerous implications of having Black and brown LGBTQIA+ people sharing a space with a football fandom with a long history of racism, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia.”
“The wider Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will feel safer and more open for our community”
The added in a statement: “The decision to bring the event forward to Saturday, 19 August is one that helps us ensure we can put on a safe and celebratory event for our communities.
“We appreciate that many had held Sunday, 20 August in their calendar as a moment to reconnect with their chosen family and celebrate themselves authentically.
“The decision to have the annual event take place on Saturday, 19 August now means the wider Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will feel safer and more open for our community – from both a capacity control and cultural standpoint,” the statement concluded.
Founded in 2005, UK Black Pride is a vital event for LGBTQIA+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American and Middle Eastern-descent.
As the event celebrates its 18th birthday, the organisers have chosen this year’s theme is ‘LEGACY’.
They says this “nods to 18 years of progress, standing on the shoulders of giants and allowing future generations to feel a sense of ownership and empowerment to continue to protest and push for change”.
UK Black Pride co-founder and Executive Director Lady Phyll Opoku-Gyimah said of the theme: “UK Black Pride has gone from strength to strength over the last 18 years and we are so proud to have continuously given the community a space and platform to live and love unapologetically.
“LEGACY is the best way to describe the balance between looking at the last 18 years and looking forward to the next 18.”
She went on: “We want our communities, on a collective and also an individual level, to think about the LEGACY they want to leave behind and how we can continue to move to a more inclusive future”.
Last year’s UK Black Pride saw more than 25,000 descend on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for a day of love, party, and protest.