(Uhuru Sasa!!* July 4th weekend at the 39th Annual International African Arts Festival 2010**; all pics enlarge.)
I Was Looking For Y'all!
Despite the smokin' hot (as my gurl Nicole Bryd would say) temperatures over the July 4th weekend, folks were out in force at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn for day 3 of the 4 day cultural festival of entertainment, food, crafts, workshops, a black inventors exhibit, fashion, theater and more. Can I tell you? It was happenin'!
This event commemorated the 40th anniversary of the iconoclastic Uhuru Sasa Shule the independent, community run school of The East, a cultural nucleus in the Bedford Stuyvesant/Fort Greene area (a HUGE shout out to Baba Jitu Weusiº, co-founder). In order to keep this post within your attention span, I'll only rap on my day, but do get the full rundown on the festivities, and the history of this iconoclastic institution from the footnote links.
Major Standouts From My Style Lens
(Silver, semi-precious stones, bone, oxidized metal; Akosua Jewelry Designs.)
I was on a serious mission to acquire another piece from Akosua Bandele, an Afro-Futuristic ornament sculptor, who I met years ago during Harlem Week. Unlike most trendy, status symbol jewelry––the moment never passes for hers. Not to be missed either, Akosua's partner in life Marvin Sin, is a superb artist working in sculpted leather portraiture. His accessories are a must have––and that day, the must-have of the must-haves was the Obama portrait wallet. In light of the up-coming birthday of the lion of America, show your continued support by rockin' one!
Because It's Time!
(Bamboo and leather, hand-stitched; Nativo Collection Watch, by ECOWRIST)
Tired of digging in my handbag for a phone to tell me the time, I had been vibe-ing for a watch. Energized from my new ear sculpture, I wanted to see who else was leading the different. Well, I didn't have to walk far.
Baby! These watches are the re-birth of cool. MarQurite and David work with artisans in South America to produce these works of natural materials. Yes, the movement is quartz, but this was necessary to keep the prices affordable––under $150US. Not sure of how to dispose of your old battery? They know how and will do it for you. Yo, D.P.! Get to their site for a watch, so you can stop yanking my arm to oogle mine.
The Super-natural Future, Today
My mission accomplished, Mr. K and I reveled in the rest of the fest––eye candied folks who my gurl Zenobia Bailey calls the supernatural brothers and sisters. Big up to all of the most beautiful attendees I've ever seen in my life! Uhuru sasa for the future!
Yarnfettish, you woulda' passed out at the natural hair show, produced by Nekhena Evans, owner of New Bein' Enterprises. My style lens is focusing on fiber accented locks, new-math cornrows and wire, by next summer; look for it, y'all.
The Call And The Response––Many People, One Voice
(Africa called and we responded; Lorraine Klaasen vocalist and performers.)
Every year the IAAF has brought passionate and magnetic performers to the stage, from Fela Kuti, to Lauryn Hill. This year it was Lorraine Klaasen the high-powered South African vocalist. Singing selections from her new album "Africa Calling", this sister had folks of all colors kicking up dust! Check out her site and pick up this wonderful album post haste––lalalalalalalalalala!
My watch is telling me it's time to go to the separate reality of dreamland. That said, a big shout to the sponsors, organizers, coordinators, volunteers, exhibitors, performers, and everyone else who worked hard to make this happen. And a special thanks to Atim Annette Oton co-owner of Calabar Imports and the publisher of Calabar Online Magazine; she went to print for this event. She's also the reason for row 2––the next post.
Important footnote links
**Uhuru Sasa means freedom now, in Swahili.
ºBaba Jitu Weusi, the East, and the Uhuru Sasa Shule––a watershed time in New York City's education history.
Stay tuned, y'all!
BTW, my homeade sorrel was great!
(pic taken by Mr. K––mwah!)