5th Annual Afribembé Festival: Black To The Future!

Published on July 27, 2023, 6:41 pm
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The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), in partnership with the Friends of Art Park Alliance (FAPA) and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, is hosting its 5th annual Afribembé Festival: Black to the Future! on Saturday, August 12, 2023.

Offered to families in the New York City area for free, the daylong celebration of Pan-African artistry, intellectuality, and musicality will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 06:00 p.m. at the Harlem Art Park and on E. 120th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues.

CCCADI’s 5th annual Afribembé Festival harnesses the power of its theme, Black to the Future, to elevate Afrofuturism from a global Diasporic lens with Africa at the center.

Afribembé’s featured artists and DJ lineup will utilize global Diasporic rhythms and sounds to move festivalgoers through statements of Black identity, agency, and freedom. Featured artists gracing the Bembé Stage include Grammy-nominated Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez (presented in partnership with National Jazz Museum in Harlem), Combo Chimbita, Chimurenga Renaissance, Imani Uzuri, Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater, Chief Awosami Sekou Alaje, and DJ Bembona. Rasu Jilani will serve as the event’s MC.

Through artivism activities in the Family Village, the SoulFull Food Plaza, and the Ujamaa Marketplace, Afribembé intentionally seeks to inspire our community to envision and create a liberated future for the entire African Diaspora.

Featuring an excerpt from the funky, post-apocalyptic, Afrofuturist play, “In the Valley of Coming Forth,” by CCCADI alum, Hameed Sharif “Herukhuti” Williams, Ph.D., Afribembé makes a special call to remember that our ancestors consistently pushed toward creating a future that stretched beyond the reality of their present. This festival invites us to tap into our shared art and culture to do the same.   

Bembé is an African word carried throughout the Diaspora with various meanings. From drumming to rhythm to party, we use the word Bembé as one of the terms that connect our Diaspora together in music, joy, and community.

This event is funded by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs – Coalition for Theaters of Color, New York City Council, Altman Foundation Booth Ferris Foundation, Ford Foundation, Gilman Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and the Open Societies Foundation.

Registration is available here.



The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), is an arts, culture, education, and media organization that advances cultural equity, racial, and social justice for African descendant communities. CCCADI’s programs serve children/youth, families, young professionals, elders, local and international artists, and practitioners of African-based spiritual traditions. Through our work, CCCADI offers a collective space where African descendants honor the contributions of the global African Diaspora through exhibitions, performances, conferences, educational programs, and international exchanges.

To learn more, please visit here.

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