Global Black Pride coming to Atlanta

A sene from Atlanta Pride Parade in 2023. (Photo by Asep Mawardi)

Global Black Pride will make its American debut in Atlanta on Aug. 27 – Sept. 2. The week-long festival aims to highlight and celebrate the strides made by the Black LGBTQ+ community in the fight for equal rights over the past 60 years. 

 Global Black Pride coincides with Atlanta’s annual observance of Black Pride, followed by the Atlanta Pride festivities Oct. 12-13. 

“We are honored and excited to bring Global Black Pride to the United States for the first time, choosing Atlanta as our host city,” said Michael Ighodaro, the organization’s co-founder and president, in a press release. “Known for its deep roots in civil rights history and a vibrant sense of community, Atlanta is the ideal location to celebrate our diversity, resilience, and the ongoing fight for equality and justice.”

 What later became the Global Black Pride movement was originally a 12-hour virtual conference held in the summer of 2020 called “The First Global Black Gay Pride Is a Riot,” founded by Global Black Gay Men Connect (GBGMC). The panelists for the event consisted of activists and allies from Africa, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, and the United States. GBGMC partnered with gay dating app Grindr for this self-proclaimed “joyful riot” in 2020, which was just a month after the police brutality protests surrounding the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

 “Pride in 2020 came not only amid a global pandemic but also as the United States was seeing nationwide protests against racism and police brutality,” wrote Alex Black, creative director at Grindr. “Our attention quickly shifted away from the typical hallmarks of Pride — parades, parties, and protests — to figuring out how we could help people celebrate safely from home while also supporting queer artists, activists, and entertainers whose livelihoods were being impacted by the pandemic.” As a result, “The First [Virtual] Global Black Gay Pride Is a Riot” was born. 

 If you’re caught up on queer history, there’s no doubt that the very first Global Black Gay Pride was a riot. It happened 55 years ago at a gay bar in New York City. In fact, Pride month wouldn’t be celebrated nationwide in June if it weren’t for the iconic Marsha P. Johnson, a Black drag queen who led a series of protests after the police raided the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969.

 So, that’s the reason — if you’ve ever attended a queer pride parade here in the United States — why the festivities are usually held in June. Atlanta Pride, which coincides with National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11, was originally held in June, too, but was pushed to the fall after Piedmont Park was closed in 2008 due to storm damage. Organizers decided to keep it in October. 

 However, there are even some events in Atlanta during National Pride Month, such as the annual Atlanta Pride Run and 5K on June 2. Be sure to check out to see all the events happening in June and beyond. 

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