African American Festival Kicks Off Today in Baltimore

Enjoy annual festival celebrating black life, music, and culture

(Image: File)

Today kicks off Day 1 of the African American Festival. Surely, you’re all geared up and excited for today’s performances, speakers, giveaways and events.

[Related: African American Festival Returns with Epic Line-Up]

Start your day off with a little creativity at AAF in the Black Enterprise Empowerment Zone. At 1pm Black Enterprise will be hosting the 2nd Annual Best Pitch Competition. Five finalists will pitch live at the festival for a chance to win the grand-prize of 2 tickets to Black Enterprise’s 2016 Entrepreneurs Summit. Come check out these innovators and entrepreneurs, as they pitch their unique business ideas.

It wouldn’t be an event, celebrating all things African American, without touching on the beauty that is black love. At 2pm, head over to the Where is the Love? Real Talk About Dating, Sex, and Relationships discussion, hosted by Paul C. Brunson of “Our World with Black Enterprise.” Actress Demetria Mckinney and dating coach, Gee Sanders, will discuss the truth and consequences of love and relationships.

After getting inspired about love and business, it’ll be time to tackle finances. At 3pm Prudential will host The Impact of Debt on the African American Community. Moderated by Stacey Tisdale, senior editor of personal finance at Black Enterprise, and featuring Dr. Deforest Soaries Jr, The Honorable Joan M. Pratt, and Deputy Director of the White House Initiative of Education Excellence for African Americans, Khalilah Harris, this session will be an insightful and candid discussion about debt and its impact on the black community. The session will also cover what you can do to avoid economic barriers and create wealth.

Saturday’s sessions wrap up with a One-on-One Conversation with Torrey Smith, hosted by Pepsi. Smith will be discussing his football career, the city of Baltimore, and giving back to the community. This session will be moderated by Kwame Jackson of “The Apprentice.”

When you aren’t experiencing the empowerment zone be sure to experience this year’s epic performances, which begin at 1:30pm and continue throughout the day. Also, catch performances by V. Bozeman, Eric Roberson, SWV, Faith Evans, Doug E. Fresh, and Sheila E. Chris Spencer, Demetria McKinney, and Brave WilliamsJamie Foster Brown will host.

There’s even more to take in at AAF. Check out the Health and Wellness Pavilion, featuring companies, organizations, and experts focused on the latest advancements related to the mind, body, and soul. Festival attendees can experience fitness demonstrations, health screenings, and receive helpful information on achieving optimal health.

While taking in a full day at the festival, take a break and cool off with an ice cold beverage at the Bud Light Beer Garden, where you can charge your phone, watch television, and enjoy an interactive digital kiosk.

To follow the AAF events, including speakers, schedules, activities, and locations, be sure to download the BE Events app. Available through iTunes or Google Play, this app grants you everything you need to remain in the loop with all things AAF.  You may even use the app to socialize. There’s a cool social media component that allows festival-goers to see what participants are into. Post with the hashtag #BmoreAAF to connect and share your AAF experience. Also, swing by the Festival Live hub to further engage in the festival’s social media experience. This hub features a twitter wall and live feed of the festival performances, with LVS displays trending hashtags and social media updates.

Check back with tomorrow for information on the African American Festival, Day 2. Enjoy.

This information is subject to change. For more up-to-date information about the African American Festival sessions, performance schedule, and other events, visit Also, follow Black Enterprise @blackenterprise and the AAF @BmoreAAF.


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