The African American Culture Festival of Raleigh and Wake County expands downtown

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The African American Culture Festival of Raleigh and Wake County returned in-person this weekend after moving online in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a change from 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 figure out a way to still have people enjoy the experience, but be at multiple locations, so we wouldn't be on top of each other," said Grady Bussey, the Chair of the event.

It allowed different locations to cater to different audiences.

"We've had an opportunity to truly experience the beauty of Raleigh through our parks, through our train stations, through open space. And it's been an excellent opportunity for us, to not only serve the community and show the African American experience, but to visit the extraordinary places that we have here," said Bussey.

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

"(It) gives everybody the opportunity to realize that there is an extraordinary culture, and we are truly apart of the treat aspect of the United States," said Bussey.

NC Central graduate student Dexter Moses walked around Vendor Village in front of Duke Performing Arts Center playing the saxophone.

"It's just from the heart. I'm not thinking about it, it's just something I want to give to the people as a gift for them to take home and have a tune in their pocket," Moses said.

Outside bringing joy to attendees, his performance served a larger purpose.

"We need as Black people, we need really to emphasize preservation of our culture and passing it down to generation and generation. Not just letting it go after a while. We need to take care of what we have and what we've been through. And recognize that it's a good thing, not something to be ignored, but something to be celebrated," Moses said.

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