Summer is here, and Detroit’s highly anticipated African World Festival is near. The annual festival celebrates 40 years in the city this year from July 14-16 at Hart Plaza. Organized by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the festival celebrates the arts and culture of the African diaspora.  

The festival began in 1983 and has since become a prominent cultural event in Detroit, drawing attendees from the local community and beyond. Throughout its history, the festival has featured renowned musicians, dancers and performers from local and international backgrounds.  

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Traditional African drumming and dancing along with contemporary music genres like jazz, hip-hop and gospel, as well as fashion shows highlighting African-inspired designs and a variety of cuisine to taste from across the African diaspora, are some of the regular features of the event.  

Ahead of this year’s ceremonious 40th anniversary, African World Festival Director Njia Kai talks with One Detroit contributor Cecelia Sharpe of 90.9 WRCJ about what it takes to get the festival going each year and what to expect from this year’s celebration. Plus, Kai gives viewers a sneak preview of this year’s special performances by Parliament Funkadelic featuring George Clinton, Jessica Care Moore and Underground Resistance. 

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