This year marks the 25th anniversary of Atlanta Black Pride, one of the largest Black Pride celebrations in the United States. And unlike previous years, In The Life Atlanta (ITLA), the non-profit organization responsible for Black Pride programming is no longer at the helm. Instead, Atlanta Black Pride, a separate entity led by former ITLA representatives, Terence Stewart (President, Atlanta Black Pride) and Amber Moore (Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Atlanta Black Pride), are now leading organizational efforts for all official Atlanta Black Pride events. It’s an important distinction, among others, that Stewart and Moore are being more vocal about in the days leading up to this year’s Black Pride celebration and since departing ITLA.
“For the longest, you would hear that nobody was in control of Atlanta Black Pride, especially from people that are new to Atlanta,” says Stewart. “Who is in charge? There is no cohesion,” he recalls hearing from members of the community. “But when you look at Atlanta Pride, you know who's in charge.”
Moore, who says she and Stewart have been working in the “last four to five years to correct the misinformation” about Atlanta Black Pride leadership, cites this as one reason the pair split from ITLA; this year’s celebration represents a turning point.
“I feel like we've stepped up our game coming into 2021, on one level,” says Moore. “But we also stepped it up because we're 25 years in and we really wanted people to understand that,” she says.
After suspending in-person Atlanta Black Pride events in 2020 because of the global pandemic, organizers moved all official Atlanta Black Pride events online. This year, Moore says attendees should expect an even better experience than in previous years, with two days of events in Central Park, an expanded virtual film festival, literary cafe, streamlined workshops at the host hotel—Atlanta Marriott Midtown Suites—live workshops in the park, and the addition of the Celebrity Ambassador, and the Trans Life Awards–a new program along with Friends of Pride.
On August 25, Jamie Ferguson, Executive Director of Atlanta Pride announced the cancellation of their annual Pride Parade and all in-person events scheduled for October, citing an increase in COVID-19 cases “more than tenfold since July 1 and the City of Atlanta’s moratorium on events over 50,000 attendees; with the expectation that the Delta surge will continue for weeks ahead.”
Stewart tells The Reckoning that Atlanta Black Pride festivities will proceed with COVID protocols in place to ensure the safety of all vendors and attendees.
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