Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Fire This Time?

Blockorama was established in 1999 as a space for people of color to affirm and celebrate their communities with in Toronto Pride. I had moved to Toronto in 1998 and I was shocked to go to my first pride and not see any significant black gay presence at what had to be the biggest pride out side of New York City. When I went to the first Blocko in 99 I said to myself.. here it is... this is it! Small but dedicated Blockorama grew year over year! Between 1999 and 2005 the crowd attending grew to over 15,000! In 2006 Toronto Pride moved them from their spot at Pride and between 06 and 09 Blocko moved to two different locations. Often with out notice and consideration. 2010 is upon us and yet a proposed third move has caused a controversy as it would cut the space allotted in half! Tonight there was a community meeting at the 519 Community Centre and was attended by the Toronto pride committee and the community. For well over 3 hours the well prepared community clearly delineated their concerns and demanded action to lock down a place for Blockorama! Toronto Pride was unable to make an immediate change but has offered to come back with a solution on Friday at 2PM.. If they listened at all this evening they will do as Spike Lee would say "Do the right thing" and give Blockorama a home!

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DesperateArtist said...

Yet again, another example of how invisible blacks are in the minds of white gay folk. I'm surprised to hear this happens in a city as culturally diverse as Toronto. This is the type of sh*t you'd expect to hear about in Cleveland.

EpiphanyNoir said...

You shouldn't be surprised.. there is no place on earth where racism doesn't exist. It is however disappointing that its 2010 and we still haven't got this figured out.

Even more disappointing from the gay community who's own marginalization should have illustrated the negative impact this behavior is!

I can tell you that the Blocko committee will make sure that blacks are never invisible in this city again.