People came from all over the country and the world this long 4th of July weekend to celebrate the 51-year-old International African Arts Festival at Commodore Barry Park by the Brooklyn Navy Yard. From Friday, July 1st until Monday, July 4th—even on a rainy Saturday—thousands came for the music and the dance and the hundreds of vendors selling food, clothes, art, and home goods. It is a forever Brooklyn tradition. It was great. Artists, activists, politicians and the general community came out.
“It is a celebration of the best of African culture, Pan-African culture—that means continental, diasporan culture,” said Según Shabaka, board chair and festival coordinator Shabaka. The international Black community came from the tristate area, the West Coast, New York, the Carolinas, Africa, Caribbean, and Europe. They came to enjoy the scheduled artists such as: Trinidadian AfroSoca artist Olatunji, The Shaka Tonge Experience, Thandiswa, The Jazz of a Tribe Called Quest featuring Dashill Smith and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Lyfe Jennings; Oshun, Maimouna Keita School of African Dance (MKSAD), and the Nubian Messengers.