For the 43th year in a row the International African Arts Festival celebrated Black culture. The festival which takes place around the 4th of July, is one of the largest in America with a most colorful market place and shows that would impress even the most cultured person. The symposia, kid activities and live performances are always about preserving African culture. This year’s theme was Serudj ta which means to remake and repair the world.
Chess played throughout the day. On the right the Ka-Nefer winner of the tournament
On Thursday evening the rain couldn’t keep people from coming out to enjoy the Third World performance on the main stage on the field of Commodore Barry Park. With an incredible sound, soulful reggae,tunes, purple stage lights and a rainy backdrop the band literarily set the stage for a great couple of festival days to come. Although the thunderstorms on Friday may have interfered with a few people coming out African culture was fully celebrated during the festival’s days, especially on Saturday and Sunday.
Over the 4 days a total of 30 to 40.000 people could enjoy art, music, food and fashion inspired by roots from the Diaspora. From pure Shea Butter straight from Ghana to Kola inspired T-shirts from Senegal. From pure coconut water straight from the Jamaican trees to made in America spirulina Gruvi juice. From South African beaded jewelry from Calabar Imports to African America designed fashion. From raw food dishes to funnel cake African culture is exuberantly celebrated by a colorful market place where the merchandise is artfully attractive.
Volunteers, they make it happen every year
One of the highlights on Sunday was the Smokin Mirroz / Nu Ade Veils Of Love Hair and Fashion Show. The models that walked the stage were tremendous! With their hair fabulously on point and their magnificent walks, they brought home what African Inspired fashion is about and the audience loved it. Too bad the show was happening in the last hours of the festival. I am sure the vendors would have sold many extra pieces if it wasn’t near the closing hour of the Festival.
The festival is known to close with a bang and this year was no different. After the South African gumboot dancers swept up the last impressive crowd that gathered around the main stage the drummers of MEC Dance Ensemble made sure that the International African Festival 2014 ended on a high note.
More images of Natural Hairstyles & Fashion at the festival
The designers and fashion houses to check out are Tafari Tribe Shop, Ites International Fashion, Pauline Asmah Designs, Jessica Simon Designs ,#EllenBah, Abeokuta Designs, Moshood Creations. Eki’s Famous, Those Brothers, Pharaonicorp, mamayashi collection Unitees Inc., Accent and the Childrens Line nmed #Rajana‘sCloset.