On February 20, I went to Minneapolis to attend a meeting of the board of Afrifest, an annual Pan African festival held in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, to showcase the history and contributions of people of African descent in the world.
We met at the 1st Cup Cafe in South Minneapolis, a popular venue among Africans and others for meetings, presentations, book events, and entertainment.
This was the first planning meeting for Afrifest 2010. Nathan White, seen in the photo above, second from the right, chaired the meeting. He is the founder of Afrifest. Several members of the board were not able to attend this meeting. I have been a member of the Afrifest board from the beginning, my main contribution to the festival being to present the history of the African people from their origins in Africa to where they are today, across the world, noting, especially, their contributions in the cultural field. I have done this using a display of posters, alongside my writings. As an educator, I enjoy talking with children, parents, young people and adults about these matters.
In this meeting we dwelt mostly on reviewing the proposed constitution of the Afrifest Foundation. We have decided to reconstitute Afrifest, making it a foundation.
As board members we are all volunteers, but the rewards of working on the mission and programs of Afrifest are great, in terms of learning and teaching others about our heritage and present reality as people of African descent. We feel we are following, albeit in a small way, the footsteps of the likes of Marcus Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah, W.B. Dubois, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere, Malcolm X, Bob Marley and Walter Rodney. That affords immense satisfaction and the will to keep working, even in the face of challenges.
We selected August 7 as the date for Afrifest 2010. As in the past, we will have a number of planning meetings leading up to that day. We look forward to another great event, with educational displays, fashion and talent shows, vendors, music and great networking opportunities.