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If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Black folks in America just can’t catch a break. From daily accounts of police brutality where Black youth are murdered and sexually assaulted under the guise of ‘justice’, a white woman asserting her privilege in the most sacred of Black spaces, and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing happening all over again in 2015–to call me  an angry Black woman would be an understatement.

I’m not the only one with similar sentiments. Black America is hurting.

[RELATED POST: Teaching Little Black Girls To Love Themselves When Society Doesn’t]

[RELATED POST: Stop Humanizing White Terrorists]

With summer officially here, we created this list with the intention of serving  as an offering to promote Black healing, so we may continue to fight to dismantle an oppressive and racist system that does not value Black lives. Here’s Wear Your Voice’s list of 22 summer events around the country for Black healing. Ase.

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1.International African Arts Festival


International African Arts Festival 
July 2-5
Brooklyn, New York

“The International African Arts Festival (IAAF) began in 1971 as a fundraiser for the Uhuru Sasa School, a community-based initiative that educated youth and adults about African culture. “-via Facebook page. This event is free to the public, with a suggested 5.00 donation at the gate, a steal with headline acts such as  Kaissa and Talib Kweli

2. Essence Music Festival


Essence Music Festival
July 2-5
New Orleans, Louisiana

The largest stateside gathering of African-Americans in the United States, the Essence Music Festival, also affectionately dubbed ‘a party with a purpose’, honors Black art and entertainment.

3. The 11th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival


The 11th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival
July 8-11
Brooklyn, NY
The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival is a world renowned music and cultural event dedicated to the celebration and preservation ofHip-Hop culture.”-via Facebook page 

4. Indiana Black Summer Expo


Indiana Black Summer Expo 
July 9-19
Indianapolis, Indiana

“The mission of Indiana Black Expo, Inc. is to be an effective voice and vehicle for the social and economic advancement of African-Americans.”-via Indiana Black Expo Facebook page

5. Colorado Black Arts Festival

Screenshot 2015-06-22 at 8.02.45 PM

Colorado Black Arts Festival 
July 10-12
Denver, Colorado
The mission of Colorado Black Arts Festival (CBAF) is “to raise the level of appreciation for the role that Black Arts and Culture play in the development and well being of the community, provide a medium for local Black talent in the areas of Visual and Performing Arts, and to educate and stimulate cultural awareness, to cultivate harmony, pride, self-esteem and unity.”-via CBAF Facebook Page

6. National Black Arts Festival

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National Black Arts Festival
National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) takes place over a span of three months, from July 11 to September 10, with various events throughout the festival season. For a list of events, head here.
Atlanta, Georgia

“The mission of NBAF is to engage, cultivate and educate diverse audiences about the arts and culture of the African Diaspora and provide opportunities for artistic and creative expression.”-via NBAF Facebook page

7. Black Love Festival


Black Love Festival 
July 18
San Francisco

“This festival is calling for self-care, healing, love, celebration, and collective efficacy in the black community.”-via Facebook page

8. Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival


Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival
Saturday, July 18th
Duluth, Minnesota
“Bayfront Reggae/World Music Festival is a tribute to world music and those artists who spread the message of love, hope and equality for all people worldwide.”-via Bayfront Facebook page

9. Toledo 11th Annual African American Festival



Toledo 11th Annual African American Festival
July 18-19
Toledo, Ohio
This event is *free* to the public.

10. 10th Annual Lincoln Park Music Festival


10th Annual Lincoln Park Music Festival
July 24-26
Newark, New Jersey

 The Festival will include a range of entertainers performing a wide range of musical forms including Jazz, Gospel, House and Hip Hop and sounds from the African Diaspora-via website

11. Black Star Film Fest


Black Star Film Fest
July 30-August 2
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“The BlackStar Film Festival seeks to illuminate the global black experience by showing films by and about people of African descent from across the world”via Facebook page

[highlight ]    August   [/highlight]


12. Afrifest Annual Pan African Summer Festival


Afrifest Annual Pan African Summer Festival 
August 1
Minneapolis, Minnesota

“Afrifest Foundation is a Minnesota non-profit organization serving the arts and cultural needs of the Pan African community in Minnesota and beyond.”-via Facebook page

14. National Black Theatre Festival


National Black Theatre Festival 
August 3-8
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

“Larry Leon Hamlin founded the National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF) in 1989. His goal was to unite black theatre companies in America and ensure the survival of the genre into the next millennium.”-via Facebook page



15. Sisterhood Showcase


Sisterhood Showcase
August 15-16
Memphis, Tennessee

“Sisterhood Showcase’s mission is to combine entertainment and education to create interactive experiences that connect, engage and empower African American women”-via Sisterhood Showcase’s Facebook page


16. African Fashion Week


African Fashion Week
August 21-22
Houston, Texas

 “A platform to portray the beautiful culture of African Fashion and Design.”-via Facebook page


[highlight ]     September    [/highlight]


17. African Festival of the Arts

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African Festival of the Arts
September 4th-7
Chicago, Illinois

“Founded by Patrick Woodtor, the African Festival of the Arts (AFA) is an annual spectacular celebration of arts and culture from across the African Diaspora.”-via Facebook page

18. 5th Annual Pan African Family Reunion

Beautiful people on the dancefloor at the second annual Pan African Family Reunion at Mosswood Park in Oakland. Monday, September 3, 2012. Photo: Reginald James-

Beautiful people on the dancefloor at the second annual Pan African Family Reunion at Mosswood Park in Oakland. Monday, September 3, 2012. Photo: Reginald James-

Image Credit: Flickr user Black Hour via Creative Commons

5th Annual Pan African Family Reunion
September 6, 2015
Oakland, CA

19. Black Women’s Expo

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Black Women’s Expo 
September 12-13
Chicago, Illinois

” An empowering, motivational, and entertaining forum that targets the specific needs and interests of Black Women”-via Facebook page

20. Black Writers And Book Clubs Literacy Festival


Black Writers And Book Clubs Literacy Festival
September 18-19
Memphis, Tennessee

“Black Writers and Book Clubs (BWABC) Literacy Festival is a celebration of literacy, showcasing books by US (Black authors)”-via Facebook page

21. Nashville’s African Street Festival

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Nashville’s Street Festival
September 18-20
Nashville, Tennessee

  [The event is] Committed to celebrating and connecting the extensions of Africa to America
by way of education, arts, business, family and community…Helping us become ONE strong.-via event page

22. Moja Arts Festival


Moja Arts Festival
Charelston, South Carolina
September 24-October 4

” The Festival highlights the many African-American and Caribbean contributions to western and world cultures.”-via 2014 event page

*Bonus Event*

23. International Black Film Festival


International Black Film Festival
October 1-4
Nashville, Tennessee

 “Hosting a celebratory, culturally diverse, community inclusive, family friendly, festival that provides a source of education and entertainment for all participants.”-via Facebook page



Originally from the Bay, I was uprooted from my eclectic surroundings and forced to spend my formative years in conservative San Joaquin County (Stockton) after Loma Prieta. Earthquake central couldn't deter me, and in 2010, I relocated to San Francisco. After a year of not being rich or knowing how to code, I moved to Oakland, where my momma and my momma's momma were born. Oakland has changed A LOT from when I was growing up, and I love getting reacquainted with my roots. Like our city's logo, Oakland grounds me, it's where I've rediscovered myself and unleashed my creativity. If I were a tattoo, I'd be eyes on my eyelids so I can snooze the day without anyone noticing (which I do often.) If I were a street in Oakland, I'd be Skyline Blvd, because, the view. Favorite spot in Oakland? I love it all! But I'd have to say Redwood Regional Park...or Raj Indian in Piedmont.

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