The African American culture is unique in that it is a combination of more than 50 African countries’ traditions. That’s why events like the Dayton African American Cultural Festival present opportunities to connect hundreds of people with their roots and expose the community to the diversity of African American culture.
“African American culture is about remembering your roots. It’s about honoring your elders. It’s also about passing on the heritage and the pride of being an African American and making sure our kids know our history,” said Cheryl Scroggins, a festival visitor who also volunteered to work in the Health pavillion.
The past, present, and future of the culture were all displayed throughout Island Metropark. There was an art gallery, an “African Village” and three stages for performances and lectures.
The first stage featured traditional African American drumming, drama and dance performances as well as lectures from different African American experts.
On the second stage, currently popular rappers performed their music. African eldes say that this style of music and performance are actually rooted in traditions that are thousands of years old.
The third stage was specifically for youth performers to show their talent and contribute to the future of the African American culture.
Organizers say events like the festival help bring unity and strength to the African American demographic.
They also hope to connect with the Greater Dayton community through the celebration .
“It’s no different than when you see the Jewish festival or a German festival. We want to share our culture with the world because African culture is world culture,” said president of the event, Marlon Shackelford.
The event continues on Sunday from 12 pm to 6 pm at Island Metropark.