Counting Down the Days to the 37th Annual African World Festival!

I’m so excited for the African World Festival (AFW) at The Wright in Detroit! We attended AFW a couple of years ago and had a great time. The festival was 3 days long and I had gone to AFW on each day. That’s how much I loved it!

Here’s a blog post I shared about our time at the 2016 African World Festival if you’d like to read.

Detroit African World Festival
34th Annual African World Festival Detroit
Libations African World Festival

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History hosts AFW every August and it’s a great family experience! There’s live music, a lot of dancing, shopping pop-ups, food vendors, a kids zone, African dancing workshops, headwrapping vendors (with headwrapping demonstrations), and so much more!

Detroit Life
Good Life Detroit
Zechariah, Elijah, Michala, and Zhen at the African World Festival 2016. Long before I had Zephaniah!

The African World Festival is one of my favorite festivals in Detroit! I’ve already added the dates for the event to my calendar. LOL! I hope to attend at least two out of three of the days of AFW 2019. Plus, I really want to see The Clark Sisters perform! *praise hands* I already know The Clark Sisters performance is going to be SO GOOD!

Freddie Jackson is also performing at the Detroit African World Festival. His performance is scheduled for Friday evening on Opening Day. That would make a great date night, too, if you really think about it.

Freddie Jackson singing love songs and chilling at the festival with your love on a summer night– I might just have to get a babysitter for Friday night and make it a date night for Travis and me! 🙂

Detroit African World Festival
37th annual african world festival

The Detroit African World Festival will be for three days again this year and it will be open from 11 A.M. to 11 P.M. on Friday, August 16th to Sunday, August 18th.

Opening Ceremony will begin at 4 P.M. on Friday, August 16. Part of Brush St. will be closed off for the AFW. Parking is also pretty easy to find. Here are a few tips I recommend for the festival:

  • If you bring the kids, then bring their stroller or a wagon. You’ll be walking around a lot so if they get tired, they can rest while you walk around.
  • Bring a blanket or towel for sitting on the grass. There will be seating for the concert, but just in case you can’t find a spot or you prefer to lounge in the grass area. When we watched the music performances, I sat with the kids in the grass so they could dance around.
  • Bring water bottles and snacks for the family. It was helpful for us to have snacks and water from home, especially with our little ones. I packed juice boxes, water bottles, granola bars, and crackers for the kids.
  • Arrive at the beginning of the festival if you want the kids to participate in the children’s festivities. You can see the schedule of the activities here.
  • Don’t forget your spending money! There will be many vendors selling African fabric and clothing, beauty products, hair products, food vendors, etc.
  • Do wear any African fashion styles, your best African headwrap or hair accessories, and vibrant makeup!
Detroit African World Festival
Zhen when she was much smaller. I bought her a dress at the African World Festival 2016.

Here are all of the highlights scheduled for the 37th annual African World Festival from The Wright:

Food & Shopping

AWF 2019 will feature over 125 vendors of authentic African, African American and Caribbean foods, apparel and accessories, health products, and more.

These vendors represent 8 African countries and 15 U.S. states, providing a unique shopping experience! Vendor booths will be situated on Brush and Farnsworth streets.

African World Festival Detroit


Festivities will officially commence on Friday afternoon with a welcome by The Wright Museum President and CEO Neil A. Barclay. Headlining AWF 2019 is R&B crooner Freddie Jackson, who will perform on the Main Stage on Friday night.

Other notable performers include Grammy Award-winning gospel music legends and Detroit natives, The Clark Sisters on Saturday and the exciting Afrobeat ensemble Kalakuta on Sunday.

Al B. Sure
Al B. Sure performed at the 2016 African World Festival.

More entertainment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Detroit Rocks The Runway Fashion Show coordinated by renowned local creative and fashion photographer Piper Carter and featuring musical headliner Danni Cassette
  • Children’s activities including face painting, stage performances, and a book fair
  • Live drum and dance performances coordinated by Heritage Works
Detroit African World Festival


As an institution focused on learning, visitors can participate in this year’s College Fair featuring local colleges and universities, as well as prominent Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). 

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
The kids at The Wright during the 2016 African World Festival.

Inside the Museum

Inside of the 22,000 square-foot facility, all exhibitions on display – traveling exhibition The Inside World: Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Memorial Poles, permanent exhibition And Still We Rise, and others – will be open.

The Museum’s store will also be open, which features Museum merchandise, Detroit specific brands, memberships and other unique finds that won’t be outside.

Inside the General Motors Theater, African World Film Festival will host an exclusive screening of the smash documentary Horror Noire directed by Xavier Burgin, featuring commentary by Jordan Peele, followed by live Q&A with Burgin.

Detroit African World Festival
Elijah and Zechariah with Queen Mother at the African World Festival 2016.

This weekend-long event is sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund, Heritage Works, Wayne State University, Domino’s Pizza, Knight Foundation, and Go RVing.


What are your thoughts?