I love my people! Today I went downtown to get a taste of this years National Black Arts Festival. Though I was definitely slow roasting in the sticky, Georgia heat I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was ecstatic to see so many brown faces, natural coils, mud cloths, black paintings and busts, ethnic jewelry, ethnic food,....the list just goes on. The live entertainment livened my pulse and had my hips swaying, knees knocking, neck rolling. Ha! It was lovely! There were so many beautiful women and men. I think what I appreciated about their beauty was that it so full of African culture and pride. I was glad that I had ditched the weave and rocked my hair au natural. I felt like I belonged. So often I am a "dark rock surged upon, over-swept by a creamy sea". (Those were Zora Neale Hurston's words.) It was great to see people who looked and felt like me. All working together and having a good time.
I saw some sista's with locs past their butts. I saw one woman with skin three shades lighter than jet black. She was stunning. I saw a father and son both wearing beanies packed full with their dreadlocks. It was so cute! People would randomly bust a dance or start singing. Women were shopping together, laughing, and trying on jewelry. A few men were gathered around drums. Children were playing and running. The art was AWESOME! It was all so visually satisfying. I wish it came more than once a year.
I loved to merging of African and African American culture. And there was no hostility or separation like there can be between us. We were all black people today and I LOVED that feeling.
I could have easily spent well over $300 but I forced myself to just admire. I'm sticking to my budget if it kills me. The festival was definitely a joy and I will be in attendance next year...with lots of money on hand.