Favorite

Kwanzaa Festival Cancelled 

click to enlarge kwanzaa_100.jpg

Cancel Kwanzaa. The Capital City Kwanzaa Festival, marking the observance of the African American cultural holiday and a 17-year tradition in the city, won't be happening this year.

In recent years, the event has drawn hundreds to the Greater Richmond Convention Center to browse vendors of Afrocentric wares, watch African dancers and see old friends. Past festivals have included performances from national artists such as Gil Scott-Heron, Melba Moore, The Last Poets and appearances from comedian Dick Gregory and Kwanzaa creator Maulana Karenga.

Negotiations with a "personality" selected for this year's event weren't successful, Bell explains.

"We worked very hard," says event organizer and Elegba Folklore Society founder Janine Bell. "But we unable to sync up."

Bell says she agonized over the decision to call off one of the largest Kwanzaa events in the state. But without a celebrity centerpiece, she decided not to put on event that was less than what people had come to expect.

"I think it's a tragedy," says King Salim Khalfani, executive director of the Virginia NAACP, which cosponsored the event for the last three years. "That's been a staple in our community for some time now. It's a tough time for nonprofits, especially those who do work that liberating for our people."

The Elegba Folklore Society plans to hold an event similar to Kwanzaa in February and the aforementioned "personality" is scheduled to appear.

"That would be good, but we want to see Kwanzaa during its time," Khalfani says.

The Kwanzaa festival is the second city-based African American holiday event to be canceled this year. In October, organizers canceled the 12th Annual Hull Street Holiday Parade after organizers failed to book enough high school marching bands due to scheduling conflicts.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Most Popular Stories

  • Moving Pictures

    Moving Pictures

    Lucy Dacus revisits her Richmond upbringing on new album, “Home Video.”
    • Jun 22, 2021
  • COMMENTARY: Pedestals with Purpose

    COMMENTARY: Pedestals with Purpose

    Richmond should carefully examine what to do with the remaining pedestals from the Confederate monuments – considering each individually.
    • Jun 22, 2021
  • Power to the People

    Power to the People

    A new documentary about the rise and fall of the Confederate monuments offers a sweeping history of resistance.
    • Jun 8, 2021
  • Waive That Flag

    Waive That Flag

    A VCU teacher has students redesign Virginia flags to “reckon with dead symbols.”
    • Jun 8, 2021
  • More »

Copyright © 2021 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation