February 23, 2013 was a special day in Minnesota. The first annual Black History Expo was held at the River Center in St. Paul, thanks to the hard work of Karla Spencer-George and Liberation Clothing & Gifts. The event brought together many vendors, performers, and educators. It was a great opportunity to learn about the Black experience, in both Africa and the Diaspora, through lectures, performances, displays of artifacts, books and other expressions of Black intellectual contributions and creativity. Publicity for the event was very good, as you can see here and here.
This photo was taken at the booth of Liberation Clothing & Gifts. Karla is on the far left.
The guest of honour and keynote speaker was Dr. Julianne
Malveaux, a distinguished scholar and educator, who once served as president of
Drummers and dancers in action.
The event was well attended, throughout the day, by children, youths, adults, and the elderly. There were programs for all age groups
This is the space where lectures, performances, and fashion shows were held
As happens often in these events, I meet people who know me, people who have read my books. The lady on the left came to my booth with her sister, and she was delighted to see copies of my Africans and Americans book. She talked excitedly about how she bought it some years ago, and how much she likes it. Such testimonies, needless to say, touch me very much.
Here on the left I am with Sybil, another fan of my work.
It is not possible to capture in this little report the richness of this event. It is not possible to report on all the interactions I had with many people, but I should perhaps simply say that from talking to people, it was clear that they were impressed by this inaugural Expo, expressing the strong desire that it should, indeed, be an annual event.