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Go Ask Mom

Mark Your Calendars: History museum plans 16th African American Cultural Celebration

Posted January 16

The N.C. Museum of History's 16th annual African American Cultural Celebration is 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Jan. 28, at the downtown Raleigh museum.

The festival features more than 75 musicians, storytellers, dancers, chefs, historians, playwrights, authors, artists, reenactors and more, according to a press release. Admission and parking are free.

Activities and performances will spread out across the museum's lobby, third floor and auditorium. Visitors, for instance, will be able to hear the journey of African American music history through song by Sandra Dubose, known by many as "the Black Beauty Queen of Self-Esteem."

And award-winning journalist Bridgette Lacy, who shared a yummy recipe here on Go Ask Mom, will enlighten audience members on the tradition of Southern food on Sundays.

You'll also find hands-on activities for children, including a gallery hunt with a prize; a toy-making station; a cowrie shell necklace-making activity; and more.

“The celebration has grown over the years from a small afternoon event with a few hundred people, to a day-long event serving as the state-wide kickoff to Black History Month with thousands in attendance," said Emily Grant, festival coordinator. "This year’s theme is The Shoulders We Stand On—a time to reflect, honor and celebrate where we’ve been, who we are now and where we are going.”

Some other highlights planned for the day:

  • Music and dance will take the stage with the gospel sounds of the Wray Sisters and The New Spiritual Souls, the fusion of soul and country from the amazing Rissi Palmer, who has been very busy since I featured her back in 2012, and others.
  • Information about Palmer Memorial Institute, a school founded in 1902 for upper-class African Americans, using photographs, music and documents with staff from Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum.
  • An original play by Dominique Williams, set at Shaw University in the 1960s, where the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was formed.
  • A performance from Lollipop and Mop Top, the Hip-Hop Scientist.

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