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ADHTThe Seventh Annual International African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference is set to take place on September 22-24 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The African Diaspora Heritage Trail (ADHT) is an international cultural tourism initiative that promotes socially conscious travel to sites identified as relevant and important to the global narrative of people and culture of African descent. It is designed to educate visitors and safeguard the core values and creativity of African cultures and history.

The ADHT Foundation seeks to establish heritage trails linking Diaspora traditions in Africa, North, South and Central America, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Europe, and Canada by developing a network of collaborators who identify, build, finance, promote and market cultural heritage destinations. ADHT destinations will foster sustainable economic development, provide inspiring educational experiences, produce quality cultural products that expose visitors to authentic African Diaspora history and culture, and motivate local populations to become active participants in the preservation and dissemination of their history and culture.

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Usher in spring this year by attending the twelfth annual African American Travel Conference (AATC) to be held in Virginia Beach, Virginia on April 12th through 14th at the conference center in the city. The host venues for this exciting and profitable event are both the Sheraton and Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront hotels.  What better way celebrate the beginning of the warm season and learn what’s going on in the travel industry at the same time.  If you are involved in aspect of travel, this is an event you don’t want to miss.

Blue_Man_Group_-_LogoBlue Man Group will perform at Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta on January 18-23. Although Blue Man Group has toured previously with its megastar arena rock show, this marks the very first theatrical production to tour North America. The group on tour features a new physical design that centers around a proscenium-sized LED curtain and high-resolution screen creating an entirely new visual experience for Broadway houses across the nation.

The critically acclaimed Blue Man Group creates experiences that defy categorization. Their multi-media performances feature three bald and blue characters who take the audience on a journey that is funny, intelligent and visually stunning. A live band, whose haunting tribal rhythms help drive the show to its climax, accompanies the Blue Men.

“Until now, we have never mounted a touring version of our theatrical production,” says Blue Man Group co-founder Philip Stanton. “The main reason for this is we needed to find a way to transform theatres of all shapes and sizes into spaces in which the Blue Man can intimately connect with the audience, where the audience can become engaged with the spirit of the show and of the Blue Man himself. Our goal with this production, as with all of our productions, is to help audience members reconnect with their own sense of discovery, with their own sense of what is possible in their lives."

mlkMartin Luther King, Jr. Day, a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is observed on the third Monday of January each year around the time of King's birthday, January 15. Officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000, many people around the world have also begun to recognize the holiday.

Virtually every major city in the US has planned some type of observance ceremony. Many communities dedicate more than one day to the legacy of Dr. King. Celebrations everywhere include church services, school assemblies and volunteer projects. Various organizations like the NAACP will be honoring people who have best exemplified the dream of Dr. King. Many programs will include people reciting the civil rights leader famous “I Have a Dream" Speech.

esprit_muralKnown to many as the Festival Mondial des Arts Negres, the third edition of the World Festival of Black Arts takes places this year in Dakar, Senegal December 10-31, welcoming visitors and artists from around the world in a festivity of arts, culture, and independence.

Sometimes referred to as Fesman, the festival brings a spirit of celebration: of arts, culture, and music of course, but also of independence, pride, and solidarity. The first of its kinds took place in Dakar in 1966, initiated by then Senegalese President, Leopold Senghor. Just a few years after Senegal gained independence from France, the festival came at a time where the black struggle for civil rights was faced with many obstacles but still seemed steady and perhaps even promising. In America, activists were making strides in the American Civil Rights Movement, and Africa as a whole was moving to end colonization. The festival was as political as it was artistic, and it was in this context that the 1966 edition sought to both restore and display the noblesse of black Africans from their own cultural and artistic viewpoints.

Alsaka_alcan_army_1942_engineersThe Rev. Dr. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., leader of the campaign to establish Juneteenth as a National Holiday Observance will visit Alaska again this year to co-host the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Alaska Alcan Highway Celebration on October 28-3O in Delta Junction, Fairbanks and Anchorage. He will be joining Bishop Dave Thomas, Alaska Representative of the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)

The National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF) founded by Dr. Myers has established the 28 of October as a significant date for celebrating African American military achievement. "The festival is dedicated to the African American army engineers who built the historic Alcan Highway during World War II and completed the Sikanni Chief River Bridge on October 28, 1942," states Juneteenth Alaska festival co- host Bishop Dave Thomas, the founder and pastor of Jesus Holy Temple in Anchorage, who also serves as Chairman of the National Juneteenth Armed Services Commission of  NJOF.  

AfricaoutlineAfrican Leaders to Discuss Tourism as Economic Engine of Growth and Development

The Africa Travel Association (ATA) will present its Fifth Annual Presidential Forum on Tourism on Wednesday, September 22 at New York University’s Africa House.  Leaders from Africa will come together to discuss how tourism can contribute to economic growth and development. The event will be held as part of the NYU-Africa House Conference of African Leaders on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly meetings.

This forum is ATA’s highest profile event in the United States offering African leaders an opportunity to speak about how tourism contributes to a country’s economy and development.  Discussions will include the current challenges and future prospects each country faces in promoting the sector.

ATA President, Fatou Mas Jobe-Njie, Minister of Tourism and Culture of The Gambia will open the event. Dr. Elham M.A. Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union will participate in light of the ATA-AU strategic partnership.

The mission of the ATA Presidential Forum is to strengthen partnerships between African nations and the global travel trade industry. It is an opportunity for leaders, who are attending United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York, to put travel and tourism at the forefront of the international community’s agenda and on the industry’s event calendar. The first ATA forum of this type was in 2006 with the Tanzanian and Nigerian presidents in attendance. Last year, ambassadors from Namibia, Tanzania, and Zambia, and ministers from Cameroon, Malawi, Mozambique, Zanzibar, as well as the World Bank Vice President of the Africa Region participated in the forum.

The forum starts promptly at 4:00 pm and last until 7:00 pm, followed by a reception from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. Doors open and registration begins at 3:30 pm. The location is the Kimmel center for University Life at New York University located at 60 Washington Square, between LaGuardia Place and Thompson Street. For more information, visit www.africatravelassociation.org.

sankofa-bird-2010By its decision to proclaim 23 August each year as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, UNESCO sought to pay tribute to the tireless struggle of the slaves for their freedom.

As declared by UNESCO, August 23 is Slavery Remembrance Day. Festivals, ceremonies, and other activities designed to commemorate the slave trade and its effects, to educate the public about the historical significance of the trade, and to remember and honor those who struggled, suffered, or died in the trade, will take place around the world.

The Liverpool Slavery Remembrance Initiative--a partnership between National Museums Liverpool, individuals from the Liverpool Black community, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Culture Company and The Mersey Partnership--will organize such a festival composed of several events, mostly at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, England from August 20-23.

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From August 6-8, the Quays of the Old Bay in Montreal will once again be filled with the sultry sounds of reggae music. Yes, the Montreal International Reggae Festival (MIRF) is back with another amazing platform of Caribbean music excellence. “This year we have created a sense of lasting legacy by showcasing internationally respected Caribbean musicians, whose music continues to bring people from all walks of life together,” says MIRF President, Eric Blagrove.

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For over twenty years the National Black Arts Festival has been celebrating talent in literature, music, dance, theater, film and visual arts. From July 14-18, the summer festival will feature an all-star lineup of international musicians, over 100 different artists from around the world and entertainment for young inspiring artists.

 

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For only three days out of the year toward the end of June, from the 17th to the 19th century,  the black slaves of Venezuela, brought from Africa to work the coffee and cocoa plantations, were permitted a break from their daily toils.  It was during these three days, in honor of patron saint, San Juan or St. John in English, that the overworked African laborers along the coasts of Venezuela could come together to eat, dance, play music, and to revel in relaxation and celebration.

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Escape to the sunny islands without leaving Montreal! The most prestigious Caribbean culinary event in Canada, A Taste of The Caribbean Festival promises to be one of the most exciting with a dazzling array of fun and activities for the entire family. The 11th anniversary of this event will happen on Sunday May 30th for one full day at the Place Bonaventure in Montreal. The festival brings people of all ages, different backgrounds and walks of life together to share and celebrate the spirit and captivating culture of its Caribbean community.  The only culinary arts festival of its kind in Canada, A Taste of the Caribbean Festival celebrates the Caribbean Diaspora and promotes the Caribbean culture.