FAMU Harambee Festival Ignites Black History Month
On a brisk Saturday in February, Cascades Park came alive with black artists, singers, dancers, and storytellers showcasing their crafts at the 2020 FAMU Harambee Festival. Sights and sounds of Black History Month resonated throughout Tallahassee’s crown jewel park, celebrating African culture, music, and art. This year’s theme “Inspiring Unity in the Community” set the tone for the all-day event, with families, friends, and neighbors from across the region coming together to celebrate the contributions that the African American community has made to Tallahassee and beyond.
From the performances to the vendors, the common theme of this year’s Harambee Festival was empowerment – the empowerment generated when communities come together and celebrate their heritage. The atmosphere felt like a city-wide Family Reunion, filled with good people, good music, and good food.
The vibrant Afro-Caribbean dancing, African drums, and songs had the audience swaying in their seats and dancing on their feet. Each artist added their own diverse culture and flair, and after a full slate of performances, the audience left empowered and inspired.
Harambee festival attendees were hard-pressed to leave Cascades Park empty handed, as vendors from across the region displayed a mix of traditional African clothing and modern goods, while messages of black empowerment were adorned throughout. African jewelry, natural skincare products, and custom artwork were selling fast, with spectators lining up at every tent.
As the event ended, the crowd was reminded that the event’s goal was to honor African traditions and inspire unity – and FAMU Harambee 2020 did just that. After a packed day, festival goers wearily filed out of Cascades with more than memories of a fun evening spent with family and friends. They left with stirring messages of community. These messages were woven into the spoken word, the dance, and the songs of hope, and these messages will resonate in Tallahassee long after Black History Month comes to a close.