The Detroit African World Festival was this weekend & I took the family out to partake in this wonderful event. The African World Festival is the has the most anticipation out of all of the summer ethnic festival, starting Friday 08/19 & ending Sun 08/21 there is an expected 1.5 million visitors that will pound the pavement at Hart plaza looking for shea butter, African food, clothing, bootleg: purses, DVD’s CD’s and everything in between. The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History will be presenting its 23rd Annual African World Festival, which happens to be the largest educational outreach program presented by the museum. The specific focus on this year’s festival is on the African Diaspora, which was expressed by a great open market place, drumming, musical performances, spoken word, food & various displays of local & international artistry.
1pm Saturday, but that never happened as we arrived at 430pm (don’t ask), luckily we were able to find a good parking spot by Campus Martius. Walking downtown on Woodward was a refreshing experience because about 15 years ago when I caught the DOT, Woodward was not the place to be if you wanted to make if home without being accosted by vagrants or puck bitches trying to jack someone (I was jacked waiting on the Fenkell # 18). The open Campus Martius plaza, new restaurants, & building restoration all show that Downtown is/will be the place to be, especially with the Superbowl coming.
As we got closer & to Hart Plaza, a panhandler asked me for money & I went off just a little. I do not give money to street-beggers at all, for all I know that can be better off than me. Shit! Furthermore, I told him that I was married & had 3 kids and asked what made him think that I had some money, then asked him to give me some of what he had. I may have went overboard but damn!!! Crossing Jefferson, I was almost overwhelmed by the ubiquitous festive environment where there was a myriad of stimulating sites, sounds & smells that. Music was blaring in all directions; the air was thick with incense, shea butter, essential oils, food & a little African funk or just plain Negro stank.
My one goal this summer was to find the perfect Dashiki & I did @ only 20 bucks from the Touray Kunda Enterprises booth. Luckily I found out that they have a store on the west side of Detroit that I can visit. I also wanted to pick up a Fly Whisk, & almost bought one but the hair was too filthy, so I am still on the hunt for one (whatever). People were everywhere but I was able to run into a few people that I know most notably Poets Blair, Karega & Cha Cha from 102.7, which whom I happened to meet the night before @ a party of a mutual friend, unbeknownst to me, she was one of the hottest DJ’s in Detroit, and ironically I ran into a former Mackenzie HS classmate. One of the best booths was from Everette’s Cornrows which had several good things going on including live demonstrations, merchandise & hair education.
Suite Suzy I did more people watching than anything else (a personal favorite activity). The most memorable thing we saw was this Dancing crackhead who had on a dirty blue jean Pussy Suite & very loose sweater tube top. She was making many crackhead moves as he danced to African Drumming that drew quite a large crowd. Oh wait there was also another crackhead that has on a corduroy overall & sweatshirt, but OK it was above 80°.
As a former Detroiter I had been to the AWF before but this year I was fully able to comprehend & full appreciate my surroundings. Now that I am more consciously aware & self understood these types of events have a weird spiritual meaning to me, which also includes a desire to learn more on my people all over the world & embracing their life experiences as my own.