Ebony Escapes into September (2011) (39899)
Ebony Escapes into September (2011) (39898)
Ebony Escapes into September (2011) (39897)

Wow! Fall is literally just around the corner, which opens the way for a bevy of fun and exciting Afrocentric events-both indoors and out-in our own backyards and further afield. The following are just a few to get you started.


Through Sept. 25

  • “Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight” (Chicago, Ill.): Based on the newly published book of the same name by National Air and Space Museum curator Von Hardesty, “Black Wings” charts the groundbreaking, history-making, patriotic paths of numerous African-American aviation pioneers, including Guy Bluford, the Tuskegee Airmen and Bessie Coleman, just to name a few. Featured at the DuSable Museum of African-American History, the exhibit also captures the history, events, significant figures and themes associated with African-Americans in aviation and aerospace history. (773) 947-0600, www.dusablemuseum.org

Through Dec. 31

  • “Charles Smith: Homecoming” (Chicago, Ill.): Also at the DuSable Museum of African-American History, “Homecoming” highlights the rich legacy of folk art in the Midwest through expressive sculptures by Dr. Charles Smith. Smith is founder and director of the African-American Heritage Museum and Black Veterans Archive in Aurora, Ill. The museum is an apt backdrop for this exhibit, as it was originally developed to preserve and interpret the experiences and achievements of people of African descent through preservation, documentation, collection, and study of the history and culture of Africans and African-Americans. 773.947.0600, www.dusablemuseum.org


Sept. 16-18

  • Monterey Jazz Festival (Monterey, Calif.) : The Monterey Jazz Festival-the longest-running jazz festival in the world-is celebrating its 54th anniversary this year. Headliners include Kermit Ruffins and Glen David Andrews, Sonny Rollins, Joshua Redman, Herbie Hancock, the John Pizzarelli Quartet, Huey Lewis and the News, Soul Rebels, Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band featuring Terence Blanchard, An Afternoon in Treme with Dumpstaphunk, India.Arie and a host of others. The festival features 500 artists, 90 performances, eight stages and more than 30 hours of live music during the weekend. Exhibitions, music clinics, shopping and international cuisine are also among the activities that draw thousands of fans every year. (925) 275-9255, www.montereyjazzfestival.org

Sept. 16-18

  • 18th annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival (Telluride, Colo.): “Good music, good fun and some of the best microbrews in the country” is what you will find at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. Located within the world-famous resort town of Telluride, Colo., in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the event is hailed as one of the most scenic music festivals in the country. This three-day celebration of music and microbrews will feature headliners such as five-time Grammy Award winner Robert Cray, Mavis Staples, Willie Nelson, the Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Anders Osborne, the Flaming Lips and numerous others. 866.515.6166, www.tellurideblues.com

Sept. 17

  • 15th annual Baltimore County African-American Festival (Baltimore, Md.): Created to highlight numerous aspects of African-American culture through poetry, historical exhibits, dance, cuisine and more, this free annual event encompasses a financial empowerment zone, health and wellness village and children’s activities. Among the activities for this year is the “Baltimore County Idol Final Contest,” a step show and performances from 4Evermore and Anthony David featuring Algebra. (410) 887-5557, www.aaculturalfestival.com

Sept. 18

  • African-American Day Parade (Harlem, N.Y.): Billed as the “Largest Black Parade in America,” Harlem’s African-American Day Parade features a salute to Black colleges, bands from 12 states, Black dignitaries and celebrities, a showcase of positive Black achievements and queens and organizations reflecting African culture. (212) 348-3080, www.africanamericandayparade.org

Sept. 23-Jan. 7, 2012

  • “August Sander and Seydou Keita: Portraiture and Social Identity” (New York, N.Y.): The exhibition contrasts the portraiture of iconic German photographer August Sander and prominent West African photographer Seydou Keita, capturing their individual experiences of shifting identities in Europe and West Africa. Through 60 black-and-white photographs encompassing select works from the artists’ portfolios, the exhibition explores “how the vivid portraits of these prolific photographers provide viewers with an unmistakable mirror into an age through the faces of everyday people [and]…considers the construction of visual histories at pivotal moments of social transformation.” (212) 352-0683, www.walthercollection.com

Lysa Allman-Baldwin writes for numerous online and print publications, including as the cultural travel writer for www.Examiner.com and as a senior travel writer for SoulOfAmerica.com, an Afrocentric travel website. Lysa can be reached at lallmanbaldwin@kc.rr.com.