African-American Festival in Raleigh

Raleigh’s African-American Cultural Celebration was filled with singing, drumming and opportunities to learn about the African-American culture in the past and today.
The N.C. Museum of History was filled from top to bottom for the daylong festival on Jan. 30, which featured more than 75 musicians, storytellers, dancers, authors, artists, chefs and more.
All came together to kick off Black History Month by learning about African-American heritage and culture. The theme of this year’s festival, the 15th annual, was Civil Rights.  
There was plenty for the many children who attended to learn.  With tables on things from old plantations, to Dr. Manassa Thomas Pope, the only African-American to run to be mayor of a southern capitol during Jim Crow, to Civil War reenactors and everything in between, there was plenty to do and see.
Many men, women and even children came dressed in their traditional African clothes to create an authentic African environment.
Ebony Witherson, a single mother of four, attended the festival.
“This is incredible,” Witherson said. “Being here surrounded by so many people that are interested in black history and what it was like for African-American women is truly incredible.”
Sydney, an 8-year-old child wearing a traditional dress, helped her uncle pass out flyers and escort people to different places for different events.
“It’s my third year helping my uncle with the culture festival,” Sydney said. “I like to do this because I get to wear these nice dresses and help people learn new things.”
Sydney’s uncle, a native of Kenya, and his companions were playing drums that they made as children at the festival.

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