The treasured 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival – a series of events and music concerts held to celebrate Black culture – will make a triumphant return to its hometown next Summer, according to Billboard.
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson‘s Oscar- and Grammy-winning film Summer of Soul, about the 1969 festival, inspired the new annual Harlem Festival of Culture (HFC), which is founded by Harlem community leader Nikoa Evans, entrepreneur Yvonne McNair and Ambassador magazine editor Musa Jackson, who attended the original festival back in the day.
“Being rooted, watered, and grown in this village of Harlem, I believe HFC is our moment to show the world the vibrancy of today”s Harlem — the music, the food, the look, all of it! The original event was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one that I will never forget,” Jackson said in the announcement. “With this initiative, we want to create something that evokes that same sense of pride in our community that I felt on that special day in 1969. We want to authentically encapsulate the full scope: the energy, the music, the culture. We want people to understand that this festival is being built by the people who are from, live and work in this community.”
Like that of the past festival, HFC will host indoor and outdoor live music performances and events over the course of multiple days, doing so from Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park, formerly Mount Morris Park. HFC will also host events leading up to to the inaugural celebration next year, including A Harlem Jones open mic night at the Museum of the City of New York in tribute to the 1997 Black classic film, Love Jones.
HFC founders have also established the HFC Foundation, a nonprofit organization that will provide resources for Harlem’s next generation of leaders in music.
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