Raleigh and Wake County African American Culture Festival spans downtown

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) – The Raleigh and Wake County African American Culture Festival returned in person this weekend after going live in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike in previous years, the event was spread across the city in an effort to allow for greater social distancing.

“We wanted to be smart and be smart leaders and find a way to keep bringing the experience to people, but being in multiple places, so we weren’t on top of each other,” said Grady Bussey, president of the event.

It allowed different places to cater to different audiences.

“We had the opportunity to truly experience the beauty of Raleigh through our parks, through our stations, through open spaces. And it has been a great opportunity for us, not only to serve the community and to show the ‘African American experience, but visiting the amazing places we have here,’ said Bussey.

The event showcased the impact and experience of African Americans through a variety of mediums, from art to social justice to music.

“(It) gives everyone the opportunity to realize that there is an amazing culture, and we are really part of the feast side of America,” Bussey said.

NC Central graduate student Dexter Moses strolled through the vendor village in front of the Duke Performing Arts Center playing the saxophone.

“It’s just from the heart. I don’t think about it, it’s just something I want to give people as a gift so they can take it home and have a song in their pocket,” said Moses.

Apart from bringing joy to the participants, his performance served a larger purpose.

“We need as black people, we need to really focus on preserving our culture and passing it on from generation to generation. Not just letting it go after a while. We have to take care of what we have and of what we’ve been through And recognize that it’s a good thing, not something to ignore, but something to celebrate, ”said Moses.

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